INDEPENDENT NEWS

Note Published: Freshwater Planning, Farmers, And Financial Interests

Published: Tue 21 Nov 2023 01:55 PM
On 15 November, the Auditor-General issued declarations under section 6 of the Local Authorities (Members’ Interests) Act 1968 to several Councillors at Otago Regional Council. The Councillors have a financial interest in freshwater planning decisions, and applied for declarations to enable them to participate in discussions and decisions relating to ORC’s new Land and Water Regional Plan.
The declarations applied only to the Councillors’ financial interests in the new plan. They don't apply to any non-financial conflicts of interest the Councillors may have.
We have published this note because it will be helpful for councillors with financial interests in plans under the Resource Management Act 1991.
The Ministry for the Environment notes that all regional councils and unitary authorities need to have amended freshwater policy statements and plans notified by the end of 2024 and operational by 2026.
For the benefit of other councils whose members might have financial interests in freshwater planning decisions, this note:sets out our key findings in more detail; andprovides a checklist of information to include in an application about a plan change.
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