Freshwater consultation goes toxic

Forest & Bird has joined the call asking the Government to extend its fresh water submission deadline equally to everyone, not just scientists. The Government is due to provide evidence on its new standards to a select group of scientists this week.

“The public deserves the whole story. How can we make an informed submission without all the information?” said Forest & Bird’s Freshwater Advocate Annabeth Cohen.

“The information to be released to the New Zealand Freshwater Sciences Society should have been available to the public weeks ago. Thousands of submissions have been made by Forest & Bird supporters alone who, we are now being told, didn’t have all the information when submitting.”

The Government has said that the New Zealand Freshwater Sciences Society will be granted a 3-week extension to allow it to make a submission using the new information.

“The deadline for submitting on the proposed fresh water targets should also be extended for the general public.”

“The Government seems to be very ill-prepared.” Ms Cohen said. “The Minister should have had this vital information available when it released its initial consultation documents two months ago.”

“This consultation process, like our rivers, seems to be getting more toxic by the day.”