Minister seeks more advice

Penny Simmonds
Penny Simmonds
Environment Minister Penny Simmonds says she will seek further advice before commenting on an Otago Regional Council report on the costs, benefits and implications of notifying its contentious land and water plan ahead of the schedule she recommended.

Ms Simmonds advised the council not to notify its plan before a revised national policy statement for freshwater management (NPSFM) was produced, which was expected to be released in no more than two years’ time.

To do otherwise would be a waste of ratepayer money, she said.

A ministerial adviser yesterday confirmed Ms Simmonds had received the council report, which was approved by councillors 7-5 last week after they previously confirmed a new October 31 notification date for the plan.

"I can advise that the minister has received the report from the ORC and is seeking further advice from her officials before commenting at this stage," the adviser said yesterday.