8 Oct 2015

'A classic case of farmer politics dominating the council'

8:22 pm on 8 October 2015

Fish and Game is seeking an independent review of the Manawatu-Wanganui regional council's consenting processes, after dairy industry lobbying saw data tables removed from farming consents.

Organic milking teat cups.

Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The data tables that the Council removed from the consents showed potentially embarrassing gaps between the actual nitrogen leaching targets set for farmers, and those in its One Plan.

The move followed lobbying from Dairy New Zealand.

In an email obtained by Radio New Zealand News, Dairy New Zealand's project manager Geoff Taylor said the council agreed to remove the tables because the data could "cause significant harm to the industry".

Fish and Game chief executive Bryce Johnson said the council was shirking its responsibilities under the Resource Management Act.

"The act was set up very clearly to achieve environmental protection - it's a classic case of farmer politics dominating the council's position, and causing it to change its view."