$115,000 for salmon farm opponents
Parties appealing an application by New Zealand King Salmon to develop nine new salmon farms in the Marlborough Sounds have been granted $115,000 of funding from the Ministry for the Environment legal assistance fund.
Sustain Our Sounds gained the maximum allowable funding of $40,000 towards legal and expert witness costs.
The ministry also approved $28,770 for the Environmental Defence Society, $21,230 for the Nelson Underwater Club Inc, $13,000 for the Friends of Nelson Haven & Tasman Bay and $12,000 for the Tahuaroa-Watson whanau.
Danny Boulton, of Sustain Our Sounds, said the group put in the spadework for the assistance and would spend the money on employing quality experts. It also relied on donations to help cover costs.
"It is still tough within the budget," he said.
Parties who would oppose the application at an Environmental Protection Authority board of inquiry hearing were talking about splitting the case between them, said Mr Boulton. "We are open to work with other groups," he said.
The legal assistance fund helps not-for-profit groups advocate for environmental issues of high public interest in resource management cases heard by an Environmental Protection Authority board of inquiry, the Environment Court and higher courts.
An authority board of inquiry will hear the King Salmon application to develop the new farms in Blenheim from August 13 to September 14.
- The Marlborough Express