INDEPENDENT NEWS

At Long Last: Lake Omapere U-turn Welcomed

Published: Thu 20 Sep 2001 10:32 AM
The Government's total U-turn on funding for the restoration of weed-infested Lake Omapere is very welcome although very late, ACT Rodney MP Penny Webster said today.
"The Government has allowed this matter to fester for far too long. In July, Environment Minister Marian Hobbs claimed 'the issue is less pressing now as much of the weed has died back over the last few months '.
"What would have cost very little is now going to cost thousands of dollars. The handling of the application by the Department of Conservation then Ms Hobbs and the lack of a decision, has turned a minor problem into a major one.
"Now, both Ms Hobbs and Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia are waxing lyrical about the lake's 'special role in iwi development'. What has changed?
"Can it be that finally, both Ministers have come to understand the problem?
"It is worrying that the Environment Minister seems so far removed from the practical issues that people face on a day-to-day basis when it comes to managing environmental matters.
"In her comments about the lake and its weed growth, Ms Hobbs has demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of how things work in the real world," Penny Webster said.
Ends

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