October 20, 2015
Steady process key to cleaner Waikato
Waikato Regional Council is rejecting a Green Party charge it is failing to protect the Waikato River from pollution.
Chief executive Vaughan Payne and councillor Alan Livingston were grilled by a select committee yesterday hearing Green MP Catherine Delahunty's petition for a moratorium on Landcorp’s conversion of 20,000 hectares into dairy farms in the Upper Waikato.
She says the council is letting it happen without a resource consent.
Mr Payne says there was no legal way the council could impose a moratorium in time to make a meaningful difference.
He says instead it is working with iwi and stakeholders to find community-supported solutions to protecting the health of the Waikato and Waipa Rivers.
It is also looking for ways to understand and quantify the effects of dairy conversion and develop tools to address any problems.
Also, the council was working actively with a range of landowners to better protect waterways through various programmes.
Mr Payne says the days of councils trying to solve complex problems by issuing quick fixes are gone.
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