ECan chair steps down, pending investigation

5:45 pm on 3 May 2024

By David Hill, Local Democracy Reporter

Ecan Councillor, Peter Scott, stands by River Avon

Ecan Councillor, Peter Scott, who has a long involvement in irrigation expects there will have to be restrictions on some of the regions water allocations. Photo: ( RNZ / Philippa Tolley )

Environment Canterbury's chairperson has stood down pending an investigation following recent media comments about his farming activity.

In a statement, the regional council said Peter Scott had decided to step aside while the investigation was carried out.

Deputy chairperson Craig Pauling will be acting chairperson.

During a recent interview with Newstalk ZB, Scott said two of his own consent applications for irrigation had been delayed by another government agency.

It meant he was operating ''illegally'', he said.

An Environment Canterbury spokesperson said the council was aware of the status of Scott's consents.

"Sometimes consent applications can be delayed when information is required from third parties - as is the case here."

The investigation will be carried out by an independent external reviewer.

It was anticipated it will take a number of weeks.

LDR is local body journalism co-funded by RNZ and NZ On Air.