Protesters mark six years since Ecan councillors sacked

Green Party Christchurch spokeswoman Eugenie Sage lays a wreath on a cairn in Cathedral Square on Saturday to mark six ...
RICHARD COSGROVE/FISH AND GAME NZ

Green Party Christchurch spokeswoman Eugenie Sage lays a wreath on a cairn in Cathedral Square on Saturday to mark six years since democracy was lost at Environment Canterbury.

Protesters have marked six years since Environment Canterbury's (ECan) councillors were sacked and replaced with Government-appointed commissioners.

More than 50 people attended a remembrance ceremony in Cathedral Sq on Saturday and left wreaths on a cairn built by protesters in 2010 with stones brought by protesters from rivers around Canterbury.  

Green Party Christchurch spokeswoman Eugenie Sage, who spoke at the protest, said there were still many people angry about the continued loss of democracy at Ecan.

"We want our vote back and we want our water back." 

READ MORE:
Environment Canterbury commissioners lobbied Government to retain powers
Controversial ECan transition bill narrowly passes first reading
Full Environment Canterbury democracy 'a step backwards' - Ngai Tahu
ECan stops measuring public opinion of its leadership performance
Democratic ECan 'carries too many risks' says Nick Smith
Ngai Tahu guaranteed two seats on Canterbury regional council

The Environment Canterbury (Transitional Governance Arrangements) bill, which is about to have its third reading in parliament, proposes to elect seven councillors – four from Christchurch, three from rural districts –  and to appoint up to six commissioners at this year's October elections. 

Two of the commissioners will be nominated by Ngai Tahu, the South Island iwi.

However, protesters support a fully-elected Ecan board.

Sage said the Government had not yet justified the rationale for the continuation of commissioners.

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