Is Comrade Kate in Breach of Her Statutory Obligations

Everyone knows Comrade Kate is dead set useless as Minister for Industrial Relations. What is less well known is that her tenure as minister of conservation has been error prone and hopeless as well. Our comrade seems to be too busy increasing union membership to take conservation seriously, or have any working relationship with Fish and Game.

Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson has been criticised for refusing to take part in a court action that will have a dramatic impact on waterways.

Fish & Game chief executive Bryce Johnson said he had urged her to make sure the ministry was represented in a High Court appeal by Federated Farmers and Horticulture NZ against a recent landmark Environment Court decision on reducing water pollutants.

She had been involved in the case before the Environment Court decision on Horizons Regional Council’s One Plan, Mr Johnson said, and he told her she needed to stand firm against the latest appeal.

He sent emails to this effect on October 4 and October 9. Ms Wilkinson had not responded other than to acknowledged receipt, he said.

In the emails, released by Fish & Game under the Official Information Act, Mr Johnson said the court’s decision was undeniably an “extremely significant case for biodiversity on private land, sustainable land use and conservation in relation to public water bodies”, and “it is essential that you are represented at the High Court”.

He said it was “manifestly unfair” that the burden of defending the court’s decision would fall on Fish & Game, a non-profit organisation.

“DOC has a clear statutory obligation to advance conservation, and the minister’s absence before the High Court will inevitably attract substantial public and political criticism if you fail to appear in this case,” Mr Johnson wrote.

I’d digging more into this, but it appears that Kate’s department is in breach of the statutes governing it, or has been bought off. This is not good enough. Ministers must follow the rule of law, not make stuff up as they go along, ignoring statutes as they see fit. They can’t instruct their department to be bought of with 30 pieces of silver.

If I were in Kate’s office I would be worried that she is going start coming under attack from all sides, as businesses like Crest are seriously pissed off with here, and there are some very angry fisherman who a smart minister would be placating, not giving the finger to. Fish and Game might not do more than press releases, but I am hearing that there are some fishermen with legal backgrounds looking into this now.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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