The decision not to lodge an early draft submission on the wider environmental aspects of the Tukituki Catchment Proposal with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) was made by the Department of Conservation (DOC).
The decision was made after considering all internal advice and followed standard processes.
The decision was taken because DOC considered the conservation values at risk in the Tukituki Catchment did not justify the resource investment required to make a substantive submission.
DOC senior managers make decisions every day on what issues they engage in – balancing conservation priorities against resources.
DOC considers there are medium conservation values in the Tukituki Catchment and it decided to concentrate its submission on the impact of the proposed Ruataniwha Dam on nearby conservation land and fish passage around the dam.
The Minister of Conservation was informed about this decision making process in the standard way.
He did not give direction to DOC about the decision it should make and he did not receive a copy of the internal draft submission prepared by some DOC staff.
As part of the standard process, the Minster did ask for a full briefing on the Department’s decision on 29 July. He received this on 31 July and that briefing and the reasons for DOC’s decision are publically available (see attachments below).
Deputy Director General
Policy and Regulatory Services
- Departmental briefing to Minister on Tukituki Catchment (PDF, 57K)
- DOC's submission to EPA on Tukituki Catchment (PDF, 121K)
- Internal draft document (PDF, 860K)
- Email correspondence between Deputy Director-General and senior Department of Conservation managers 29-30 July 2013 (PDF, 246K)
- DOC to review submission process - Media release, 24 September 2013