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Canterbury Deserves Better

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Federated Farmers says Government's decision to disband the Environment Canterbury (Ecan) Council highlights the need for the Canterbury region to make some constructive decisions about its resources and environment.

"In dumping the Council, Government has clearly put its cards on the table," says Federated Farmers President, Don Nicolson.

"It's disappointing that it had to come to this, but Ecan's management of the region's resources has clearly not been good enough and we all agree that Ecan's performance needs to be better.

"This is a big deal and Federated Farmers will be monitoring developments closely. There are potential massive implications for Canterbury farmers and the wider community and right now the future is unclear.

"A great deal of progress has been made on the Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS) which provides an ideal platform to progress water issues in the region. Today's decision should be positive for progressing this plan further.

There are still some complex challenges that need to be worked through. For example, the moratorium on new consent applications will need to be managed carefully to ensure existing consent holders and new applicants are treated fairly.

"Though it's a last resort to disband a democratically elected body, we understand why Government has moved now, but we also hope to see a democratically elected body back in charge sooner rather than later.

In the interim Federated Farmers looks forward to working with the new commissioners to achieve the best outcomes for Canterbury and New Zealand as a whole," Mr Nicolson concluded.

Federated Farmers Mid-Canterbury President, Michael Morrow also reinforces the importance of making progress.

"We are pleased that the CWMS will be providing some democracy closer to the grass roots via the zonal committee," Mr Morrow concluded.

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