EPA seems fishy

Written By: - Date published: 5:28 pm, September 27th, 2012 - 5 comments
Categories: Environment, farming - Tags: ,

I have been following National’s new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hearing, the board of inquiry is considering an application by New Zealand King Salmon for a plan change and resource consents so it can create nine new fish farms in areas of the Marlborough Sounds where aquaculture is prohibited.

The EPA was set up basically to fast track projects of National significance, I’m surprised they didn’t have to be ‘Key’ projects of National significance, but I digress.

In the first place it is arguable if this application by an overseas owned company was of National significance, but they have been throwing money around like confetti and King Salmon expert Douglas Fairgray has predicted direct economic benefits worth $1.1 billion, altho this has now been almost halved to $600 million in another estimate.

We are now half way through the 10 week hearing and in the last week an interesting point have been raised by Lawyer Sue Grey, she said “the Takutai Moana (Marine and Coastal) Act 2011 was worded to protect existing users of the coastal marine area from being displaced by new users wanting to exclusively occupy space.”

Ms Grey quoted Attorney-General Chris Finlayson as saying at its first reading “the bill recognised swimming, boating, walking, fishing and other recreational activities in the public coastal marine area as a birthright of all New Zealanders.”

“That is why public access, fishing and navigation . . . are guaranteed,” Mr Finlayson had said.

Ms Grey said “she understood the bill did not allow variations to district or regional plans, if a prohibited activity requiring exclusive occupation of space was involved.”

“Allowing the plan change required for King Salmon to build eight of its nine proposed farms could be unlawful,” she said.

This could leave any decisions by the EPA possibly open to court action later.

Also over the last couple of days the setting of conditions for the new farms has come up with the Judge Gordon Whiting calling a meeting between lawyers, The conditions being around what King Salmon can and can’t do on each proposed new farm, but the problem is we are only half way through the hearing, so how can the panel make a decision on whether any of these farms can even go ahead before hearing all the evidence including conditions or make any conditions before hearing all the evidence.

National seem to have out smarted themselves again.


5 comments on “EPA seems fishy”

  1. tc 1

    EPA is classic NACT tactics….why bother repealing pesky oversight and consultative laws when you can roll a bulldozer over it and name it after your US mates agency as a smudge.

    You only have to look at the board and site “administers applications for major infrastructure projects of national significance, and regulates new organisms (plants, animals, GM organisms) and hazardous substances and chemicals. The EPA also administers the Emissions Trading Scheme..”

    There’s that national significance mantra again, check it out yourselves with such lines as “New Zealand’s economy relies on organisms that are not native to New Zealand..” cracks me up that one and here’s me thinking our clean green home grown flora and fauna made us unique clearly I’ve got some learning to do.

    I gave up after our third world interweb infrastructure made it like watching paint dry but Kerry Predergast is chairing it so guess where it’s heading kids.

  2. blue leopard 2

    The whole fast tracking and streamlining of applications is intensely dodgy.

    Wait! hold on! Yes! I realise that people with a plan wish to get it moving, yet with larger enterprises there is an unbelievable amount of effects and consequences to think about and fast tracking them simply means less thought goes into them and a much higher likelihood of problems further down the track, including litigation. That is, if they haven’t closed that option off too. Speeding this process up too much is just going to lead to a WHOLE lot of problems.

    I feel really irked that most NZers are probably not aware of this particular bit of behind-the-scenes vandalism this Government is doing because I think it is going to lead to particularly numerous and serious issues in the future.

  3. millsy 3

    You know, I dont see why KS cannot build vats or ponds on land. Surely the same outcome would be reached??

    • blue leopard 3.1

      I really don’t know, yet suspect that there could be problems without a current flowing through. I think some fish farms are built off the side of rivers (incorporating the current)…yeah prob shouldn’t comment, yet have heard also that fish in these situations are actually quite ridden with tumours and unhealthy things like that. Also I guess it is more expensive to build a whole pond. Can’t be assed doing a google search, so I need to acknowledge these are suspicions, not proven fact/researched!

  4. Jokerman 4

    Wild Salmon far superior and preferable for human consumption and health benefits than “captured, farmed salmon” . Check out the side of the tin (if u buy it that way)

    remember- “wild”

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