27 January 2010

Environment Commissioner welcomes Mackenzie Basin dairying consents call in

"I welcome Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith's decision to call in three large-scale effluent discharge consents for dairying in the Mackenzie Basin," said Dr Jan Wright, Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.

"Dr Smith is correct to identify that there are significant concerns regarding the effect of these proposals on water quality. These proposals have national implications ranging from the special unique ecology of the Mackenzie, to tourism and carbon free power generation," added the Commissioner.

The Commissioner recently wrote to the Minister regarding her concerns. "I'm glad that these issues are being taken seriously at a national level."

"In my report Change in the high country: Environment stewardship and tenure review I recommended that proposals of national significance on lakes or outstanding landscapes in the high country should be called in. The Mackenzie Basin clearly fits the bill. I can't emphasise enough how important the issue of water quality is."

"I am pleased with the calibre of appointments to the expert panel deciding these consents, and will watch progress with interest."