INDEPENDENT NEWS

No Sledgehammer Needed

Published: Fri 26 May 2000 03:52 PM
The future of Lake Taupo is far from the crisis point Environment Waikato is alleging to impose draconian regulation, said ACT Environment spokesman Owen Jennings.
Environment Waikato plans to impose unique resource consent restrictions on dairy, beef and sheep farmers to reduce rising nitrogen levels in Lake Taupo. It is believed that nitrogen contributes to deterioration in the lake’s water quality.
“Environment Waikato’s implied threat of regulation and constraints smacks of local government bully boy tactics, and poor understanding of private property rights.
“The farmers who work this land paid premium prices for the right to farm in this desirable location. Yet Environment Waikato is trying to impose regulations and costs with unilateral, heavy handed bravado, even though they will destroy farm re-sale values and then refuse compensation. This is theft.
“There are better, proven, cost effective ways of improving environmental outcomes than merely provoking resentment. Working co-operatively with land owners, respecting property rights and establishing voluntary measures obtain far greater results then bully boy tactics.
“This situation would not have occurred if the Resource Management Act guaranteed landowners compensation, if an outside person or agency disputed the current or proposed use of their land.
“The current situation promotes a climate where even the most spurious of claims are considered.
“ACT rejects Environment Waikato's call for regulation and asks for common-sense and fairness to prevail in this situation,” said Owen Jennings.
ENDS

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