Fish & Game NZ welcome investigation into ORC RMA practices
Fish and Game New Zealand welcomes the decision by Environment Minister David Parker to appoint a formal investigator to assess Otago Regional Council’s performance of their RMA functions in relation to freshwater management.
"Fish & Game have been concerned about the Otago Regional Council’s management of the Manuherekia, Upper Cardrona and Arrow rivers for some time. It has become increasingly clear that the Otago Regional Council is struggling with freshwater management and allocation of resources," Fish and Game New Zealand chief executive Martin Taylor says.
"It’s vital that the review looks at whether the Otago Regional Council has an appropriate planning framework in place that appropriately gives effect to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management before the current permits expire in 2021.
"Fish & Game welcomes that the Terms of Reference specifically say the review must include the views of the Otago Fish and Game Council. We look forward to working with Peter Skelton CNZM as he conducts this important review.
"Professor Skelton is a former Environment Court judge who has been working with communities in Canterbury to achieve freshwater improvements. He has a thorough understanding of the RMA.
"Regional Councils must ensure that New Zealanders are not robbed of the ability to swim, fish and gather food from their local waterways. For too long, local authorities have failed to balance irrigation interests alongside their responsibilities to protect the environment for future generations."