Investigation into ECan chair continues

Peter Scott. Photo: Supplied via LDR
Peter Scott. Photo: Supplied via LDR
An investigation into Environment Canterbury chair Peter Scott is still going five weeks after he stood down from the role.

Scott stepped aside as chairperson of the regional council on May 3 while an independent investigation into claims he made during a radio interview was undertaken.

ECan this week had nothing further to add to the situation other than to clarify he had "stepped down as chair, but still retains his duties and responsibilities as a councillor".

That means he has remained at the table for the long-term plan deliberations, council, and committee meetings.

During an interview with Newstalk ZB in April, Scott was discussing how ECan had put in new procedures to manage a backlog of consent applications and detailed how two of his consent applications for irrigation had been delayed by another government agency for six years.

The issue was that ECan found a parcel of land on Scott's farm, which it is understood he has since sold, was potentially Crown land, but he continued to farm it.

"I'm carrying on and ignoring the fact that I haven't got one so I'm actually operating illegally, and I'm the chairman of Environment Canterbury."

Those remarks, the consent situation and farming activity are under investigation by an independent external reviewer that ECan said in early May would "take several weeks".

Deputy chair Craig Pauling continues as acting chairperson.

By Jonathan Leask, Local Democracy Reporter

■ LDR is local body journalism co-funded by RNZ and NZ On Air.