30 March 2010

Environment Canterbury Councillors Gone-Burgers!

With apologies to Jim Hickey and Jeremy Wells, Nick Smith and Rodney have made a decision on the Creech Report on Environment Canterbury.

The decision on the Beehive website and on the Ministry for the Environment website, replaces the councillors with up to seven commissioners to be chaired by Dame Margaret Bazley. Special legislation, an Environment Canterbury Temporary Commissioners and Improved Water Management Bill, will be introduced under urgency in Parliament this week. It will amend the Local Government and Resource Management Acts to give Dame Margaret and co. some special powers:
* to complete the Canterbury Natural Resources Regional Plan (NRRP);
* to decide Water Conservation Orders (the Hurunui River Water Conservation Order is in draft form being appealed to the Environment Court) and,
* to impose moratoriums on consenting over-allocated water resources (with the consent of the Minister).

The commissioners will govern Environment Canterbury until October 2013 (for a complete 3-year electoral term).

There is a Q and A sheet (pdf).

Scoop has coverage, as does Fairfax/Stuff.

Alec Neill, the short-lived Chair of Environment Canterbury has just recycled his previous press release about working constructively to ensure a smooth transition.

Hasta la vista, Alec!

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