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Monday, November 16

Creech appointment bad news for environment

Appointing former Deputy Prime Minister Wyatt Creech to oversee an investigation into Environment Canterbury’s resource management functions is like former US President George W Bush’s practice of appointing industry cronies to senior regulatory positions, Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman said today.

Environment Minister Nick Smith and Local Government Minister Rodney Hide today announced the team that will conduct an investigation into the performance of Environment Canterbury (ECAN). Mr Creech has been appointed to oversee the investigation into ECAN’s resource management functions.

As well as being a prominent former National Party Cabinet Minister, Mr Creech is a director of Open Country Cheese which has been successfully prosecuted twice and fined tens of thousands of dollars for contaminating farmland and rivers in the Waikato.

“Nick Smith and Rodney Hide have put a director of a company with multiple convictions for pollution in a position where he gets to pass judgement on the organisation charged with stopping dirty dairying in Canterbury,” Dr Norman said.

“This is extremely worrying. Mr Creech’s company’s track record certainly doesn’t inspire confidence that he’ll act in the best interests of Canterbury people and their environment.

“When the investigation into ECAN was announced by the Government, the Greens raised concerns that ECAN was being targeted because it was standing up to big dairy irrigators in its region. This latest appointment will only fuel those concerns,” Dr Norman said.