Landcare report 'no silver bullet'

EMMA HORSLEY
Last updated 12:00 28/11/2012

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Opponents of the One Plan want the Environment Court to look at new evidence to overturn its decisions around the environmental blueprint, but Horizons Regional Council says they are wasting their time.

Horticulture New Zealand wants to use a Primary Industries Ministry-commissioned report as evidence Horizons' One Plan will financially destroy some landowners and has asked the court to reopen the nutrient management part of the hearing that it ruled on in September. It said the report should be used to review the court's rulings on the controversial plan.

But Horizons says the report from Landcare Research has no bearing on its region and the numbers will not give any new information.

Councillor Murray Guy said yesterday the Landcare report was not the "silver bullet some appellants consider it to be".

"It does not align with One Plan."

Environment Court Judge Craig Thomson has sought Horizons and other parties' views on whether the hearing needs to be reconvened.

Horizons stated it has no view on whether the Environment Court should reconvene. However, it did recommend the court look at the new evidence on offer with caution and offered examples of how the report did not have any direct relevance to the proposed One Plan.

Cr Guy said Horizons had "been hung out to dry" over One Plan and numbers in the Landcare report and it needed to take a more proactive stance to defend itself in public.

He said that until the court had made a decision on how One Plan would finally look, the council's hands were tied on how it could progress.

Horizons chairman Bruce Gordon said the scenarios in the Landcare report were not applicable to Horizons "and neither are the numbers of predicted losses to farmers quoted in the report".

"They do not fit the region."

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