15 Jun 2010

Greens object to new attempt at 'Schmuck clause'

9:26 am on 15 June 2010

The Government is proposing an amendment to a bill that may benefit a Bay of Islands boatyard owner.

Clauses included in a Government Reserves Bill last year to legalise the use of a coastal reserve by Doug Schmuck drew objections from the Green Party.

The Speaker later ruled that clauses conferring benefit on a private individual should not be included in a public bill.

Lands Minister Maurice Williamson is now seeking support for an amendment allowing any member of the public to apply for easements over the reserve in question.

But Green Party co-leader Russel Norman says Mr Schmuck is the only person seeking such easements, and the clauses are still aimed at helping him.

Bay of Islands Coastal Watchdog member Martin Leiding says people in Opua have had no chance to make submissions to Parliament on the clauses.

The National MP for Northland, John Carter, says however that the amendment is a pragmatic solution and not an attempt to bypass the rules.