Face of the Day

Federated Mountain Club’s withdrawal from the Land and Water Forum shows how Environment Minister Nick Smith’s water policy is dissolving around him, the Green Party said today.

Environmental groups have been abandoning the Land and Water Forum (LAWF); Fish and Game left last year, while Forest and Bird left just three days ago.

“The Forum is supposed to represent all those with an interest in water in this country, from industry to environmentalists. But the balance is tipped too much in favour of industry and the Minister cherry-picks its recommendations to suit his pro-pollution agenda. It’s become untenable for environmental groups to stay in the Forum,” said Green Party water spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.

“The Green Party has been questioning Nick Smith all week on the failures of his Clean Water package, in which the goal posts have been moved to classify dirty rivers as clean.

Cam has been saying from the start that this was a poorly conceived and executed idea that was going to become a millstone.  And to do so in an election year was especially dumb.  Add the serial Clusterwhatsit Expert Nick Smith, and you have a guaranteed disaster.

The best thing for National would be to shelve this until after the election when it will be “reviewed”.  And then hope it goes away.  But Bill English won’t put Smith back in his box, so get ready for months of easy press and press releases where National keeps taking the hits over this.

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