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Parker: Urgent Legislation Will Undermine Outstanding Rivers

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
David Parker
David Parker

The National Government, already embroiled in controversy over mining in national parks, is today passing legislation that will substantially undermine water conservation orders in Canterbury, says Labour Conservation spokesperson David Parker.

David Parker said most rivers in Canterbury suffered from very low flows, especially in summer.

"Many, like the Ashburton River, almost dry up as a consequence of irrigation sucking them dry," he said.

"The Rakaia and Rangitata Rivers are exceptions, but only because of water conservation orders designed to protect them.

"The legislation being passed by National today enables the commissioners who are taking over Environment Canterbury to modify water conservation orders and to apply new weaker protections," David Parker said.

"The water conservation orders predate the Resource Management Act, and have protected New Zealand's most outstanding rivers for a quarter of a century.

"To pass this legislation under urgency, by surprise, with no prior notice during the election campaign, represents arrogant and outrageous process.

"The National Party pretends it seeks balance, with appropriate environmental protections, but this reckless step shows its protestations are hollow."

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