26 Jun 2015

Water rights and democracy

2:59 pm on 26 June 2015

The president of Federated Farmers William Rolleston is supporting the Government's plan for partial return to democracy for the Canterbury Regional Council.

Dr William Rolleston

Dr William Rolleston Photo: Supplied

The government is about to confirm its preferred option after consulting on a mixed model of six appointed commissioners and seven elected councillors.

It said the work the commissioners had been doing to bring in a water management plan for the region would be put at risk if there was a full return to democracy.

Dr Rolleston said it was not true to say there was a lack of democracy in Canterbury as the commissioners had been appointed by elected government ministers.

"What I think we need to try and avoid is that we end up with politics getting in the way of what really needs to be a logical and scientific approach."

Dr Rolleston said it was important the views of urban voters were not allowed to dominate decision making around the council table.