Bazley chairs first Ecan meeting
The first meeting today of the Canterbury Regional Council Canterbury's new government-appointed commissioners under chair Dame Margaret Bazley was a relatively swift affair, after an hour-long powhiri.
The commissioners held their first official c
The first meeting today of the Canterbury Regional Council Canterbury’s new government-appointed commissioners under chair Dame Margaret Bazley was a relatively swift affair, after an hour-long powhiri.
The commissioners held their first official council meeting since being appointed by the government to replace sacked elected councillors.
Environment Minister Nick Smith last month introduced legislation that was adopted by Parliament under urgency with the stated purpose of speeding up water allocation to irrigators.
Environment Canterbury is now a hybrid organisation between a state department and a local body. The $78 million to be collected in local body rates will be allocated to areas acceptable to the commissioners and Minister Smith. A special liaison agent from the Ministry for the Environment Ministry has been appointed.
Three of the sacked councillors – Rik Tindall, Jane Demeter and Eugenie Sage – maintained a watching brief of the meeting from the public seats.
There were no protesters, although the kaiwhakahaere (leader) of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Mark Solomon, said in his powhiri speech that a member of the public had spoken to him upon his arrival about “the death of democracy.” He said the Ngai Tahu commissioner representative, Ben Couch, would ensure accountability to the tribe.
The main business of the meeting took about 10 minutes. It was the appointment of three commissioners to the regulation hearings committee that will appoint resource consent panels to hear notified applications. The commissioners appointed were deputy chair David Caygill; Tom Lambie, dairy farmer, chancellor of Lincoln University, and chair of Opuha Dam; Peter Skelton, former Environment Court judge and associate professor of resource management law at Lincoln University.
An agenda item that suggested Environment Minister Mr Smith’s legislation required amendment to clarify the powers of delegated authority to water zone committees was deferred on the advice of Mr Caygill who said it would be dealt with before the next meeting.
A final item about legal appeals to the proposed regional policy statement concerning plan change 1 (a proposed urban green belt) was discussed for an hour under the “public excluded” provisions of the Local Government before the meeting was adjourned.
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