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Shipley tipped for ECan role

A Labour MP says former National prime minister Jenny Shipley is to be put in charge of Canterbury's regional council but Environment Minister Nick Smith says such decisions haven't been made yet.In February a review team recommended commissioners be app

NZPA
Fri, 19 Mar 2010

A Labour MP says former National prime minister Jenny Shipley is to be put in charge of Canterbury's regional council but Environment Minister Nick Smith says such decisions haven't been made yet.

In February a review team recommended commissioners be appointed urgently to replace the Environment Canterbury (ECan) council and turn around what it considered woeful performance in terms of administering water management responsibilities and resource consent processes. The Government ordered the review last year.

Labour Party water spokesman Brendon Burns told Radio New Zealand that he understood Dame Jenny would be appointed commissioner to oversee the council.

He said she would be confirmed on Monday.

However, Dr Smith said that was incorrect.

"Certainly the Government is working through (the information)... Decisions have not yet been made."

Asked if there was an individual in mind, Dr Smith said no.

"We first of all have to decide the approach that we are going to take to the issues that have been raised in the review, but this Government is very focussed on improving the overall framework in which we are dealing with these critical issues. We are not satisfied that we are managing these things well. There needs to be a step change."

The review found the relationship between ECan and territorial authorities in the region was "not good" and it recommended setting up an entirely new authority to manage water issues.

Mr Burns previously said Canterbury water management would be better served by enforcing tougher, new environmental requirements than by passing responsibility to a new tier of unelected local government.

NZPA
Fri, 19 Mar 2010
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Shipley tipped for ECan role
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