Date: 04 May 2009
The Department of Conservation says agreements it negotiates with project developers through resource consent hearings are carefully targeted to address the adverse environmental impacts of those developments.
In response to media requests DOC has pulled together a table highlighting 12 financial agreements it has negotiated with private companies or SOE’s over the past seven years. The agreements are all to fund environmental work to mitigate the impacts of proposed developments.
Details of all the agreements are already public – having been released in the past either through consent hearings processes, in response to public requests or by the parties involved.
The 12 agreements are recent examples of a much wider range of agreements and arrangements which the Department has entered into as a normal part of the Resource Management Act process.
DOC policy general manager Doris Johnston says the table shows that DOC takes a practical and open approach to resolving conservation concerns associated with large development projects.
“We identify what the environmental impacts are when developers approach us and we make those issues known during public hearings into those projects.
“We also indicate that we are talking with the parties involved to see if there are practical ways of mitigating our environmental concerns.If the department can get an agreement to fund acceptable work to help mitigate the environmental impacts of a development, we will do so.
“In cases where we can’t resolve significant concerns, we also make it clear that we will take the issue up with the Environment Court if needs be.”
Doris Johnston says agreements vary from project to project. Some involve direct payments to DOC to fund mitigation work and arrangements are also reached where trusts or community groups are funded to carry out mitigation programmes.
Doris Johnston says in most cases DOC talks directly with developers and agreements are reached without payment but where the developers make changes to their proposals or undertake the work themselves to mitigate environmental concerns.
Doris Johnston says the details, which are all already publically available, show DOC takes an open and practical approach with developers to resolving its environmental concerns.
Rory Newsam, Communications Advice Manager, Department of Conservation:
+64 27 295 3809 or +64 4 471 3104