Environment Canterbury Council Replaced by Commissioners

Minister for Environment, Dr Nick Smith, and Minister for Local Government, Rodney Hide, announced today that the Environment Canterbury Council is to be replaced by five to seven Commissioners, chaired by Dame Margaret Bazley, probably effective 1 May 2010.  Special legislation is to be introduced to make temporary changes to the Resource Management Act and the Local Government Act to give the Commissioners special powers until October 2013, when Local Government elections occur.  Commissioners will be given powers to “fast track the completion of the” [Natural Resources Regional] “plan” and to “impose targeted moratoria on water take consents and to make decisions on water conservation orders.”  The legislation will give recognition to the Canterbury Water Management Strategy.  There has been no decision in relation to the Ministerial Review Group recommendation [see News 19 Feb.] for a new Canterbury Water Authority.
Source: http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/commissioners+needed+fix+canterbury+water