Nick Smith is in a world of hurt

Nick Smith denied he had seen a draft submission on the dodgy socialist dam in Hawkes Bay. He said so in the house when in fact sources inside DoC and the ministers office show he has been shown it.

 Radio New Zealand has been leaked an email showing Conservation Minister Nick Smith was concerned about the submission DoC was proposing to lodge on Hawkes Bay’s controversial Ruataniwha Dam.

The email was circulated to senior Department of Conservation staff, including the director general, and says Dr Smith wanted to see DoC’s submission before it was lodged with the Board of Inquiry.

The board is considering the resource consents for the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s proposed Ruataniwha water scheme and its associated “Plan Change 6”.

Dr Smith said in Parliament on Tuesday he did not have access to the draft submission until he heard it on Radio New Zealand National on Tuesday morning. 

The leaked email is dated 29 July at 6pm and is from Doris Johnson, the Department of Conservation’s deputy director-general, policy and regulatory services.

There are four recipients. One is the-then DoC director general Al Morrison and the three others are senior DoC planning managers.

The email said:


The minister wants to see the submission we are proposing to make on the Ruataniwha before it is lodged.

I suggest you send it over tomorrow for him to consider the draft and also attach the briefing note you provided me.

I am in Hamilton tomorrow but back on Wednesday. He is concerned and is likely to query whether we leave it all to the EPA to consider.

I have several sources inside the ministers office, DoC and the HBRC all who are saying this dodgy socialist dam is being rammed through for ideological reasons with no notice being paid to either the science or the economics of the project. Nick Smith is in a world of hurt, and it is only going to get worse from what the tipline is saying.

This is David Cunliffe’s big chance. National’s best operators Joyce and Key are overseas so it will be up to Mr 21% to defend Nick from the indefensible in the house. If Cunliffe can take a head now it will show National they have a real opposition leader to face.

If he bottles it and Smith gets away with lying to the house Cunliffe will be considered a lightweight.

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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.