Miners oppose my rivers clean up Bill

Last week the Local Government and Environment Select Committee started hearings on my Resource Management (Restricted Duration of Certain Discharge and Coastal Permits) Amendment Bill. Most of the submissions support the Bill because it will clean up rivers and provide certainty, however not the mining industry. The mining and petroleum industries submitted against the Bill because it might limit their opportunities and be a disincentive to investors. This is a predictable and negative response to the Bill and it was clear that they were not familiar with the Tarawera River case that partially inspired the Bill. However the Straterra submission was fascinating. Bernie Napp from Straterra suggested that they could have the right to discharge polluting coal waste into rivers for more than 5 years  in exchange for cleaning up some historic acid mine drainage caused by previous coal mining. This sounds like a terrible idea as well as a retrogressive approach to environmental management. I asked him what rivers they were planning to pollute for more than 5 years and he was at pains to explain that they had no plans they just wanted to keep the option open.

If we are talking about certainty my Bill is a great idea. It providers a certainty that polluting waterways and the ocean under the RMA Section 107 2a “: exceptional circumstances” clause for more than 5 years will not be an option. What 21st century developer would want such an option? If we want to foster certainty and innovation we will ensure legislation that fosters that approach and not the Straterra bizarre bargain. One dirty river in exchange for cleaning up your industry’s previous mess? I don’t think so. The beauty of my Bill is that a clear line gets drawn and it still allows local authorities some leeway for wastewater and storm water improvements and negotiations. This view was expressed by the Otago Regional Council who made a brief and crisp submission in favour of the Bill. They simply said the Bill was needed to end gross pollution of waterways and they fully support it!

10 thoughts on “Miners oppose my rivers clean up Bill

  1. Like most New Zealanders. I got as far as “Comrade Delahunty’s Bill” and stopped.

    Having read enough.

    With just that information, everyone can determine that the opposite course of action to the one proposed in the Bill is the correct one.

    It really is that simple. Comrade Delahunty is an exceptionally accurate compass.

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  2. Quote ‘Bernie Napp from Straterra suggested that they could have the right to discharge polluting coal waste into rivers for more than 5 years in exchange for cleaning up some historic acid mine drainage caused by previous coal mining’
    This is robbing Peter to pay Paul. Your bill is correct and leaves no loopholes to continue the pollution. Who is going to clean up their mess?

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  3. It’s great to see a lot of positive support for the bill. Is it supported or opposed by the government?

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  4. “It really is that simple.”

    I presume that was a typo and you meant “I really am that simple”?

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  5. Straterra also had to apologise to me at the Select Committee for claiming in their submission that my First Reading speech calls for a closure of the pulp and paper mills, they had to admit this was wrong. My speech says the mills should continue and be modernised , but Straterra attacked me without reading my speech and conceded they didn’t know anything about this “causs celebre”. They should listen to the people of the Bay of Plenty who have been working for clean up of this river since 1955!

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  6. Also, the Bill was supported at First Reading by all parties except for National and ACT, I am delighted that the Select Committee is sending a sub committee tonthe Bay in early May so locals can be heard!

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  7. Good work Catherine and go ORC! Their plan change 6A for cleaning up waterways needs support too. It sets actual measurable limits for certain water quality indicators on water leaving your property and it’s being fought tooth and nail by some farmers who, like Straterra, can’t understand why they shouldn’t be able to pollute rivers.

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  8. It’s great to see a lot of positive support for the bill. Is it supported or opposed by the government? but i think government has not been any action about this …

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