Tuesday, 24 September 2019 08:55

What are they hiding?

Written by  Staff Reporters
 Feds environment spokesperson Chris Allen. Feds environment spokesperson Chris Allen.

Federated Farmers says it is “puzzled and frustrated” by the Ministry for the Environment’s (MfE) failure to immediately release the peer review of Essential Freshwater nutrient band technical reports.

“We’re racing against the Government’s extremely tight submission timeframe to do due diligence on what’s proposed on new freshwater quality regulations and why,” Feds environment spokesperson Chris Allen said. 

“The nutrient proposals have generated considerable attention and debate, not just by farmers, and we’re especially keen to understand the technical details underpinning the main report.”

Allen says that on September 8, Federated Farmers asked the MfE for a copy of the independent peer review and was told on September 13: “what was a straightforward query would be treated as a request under the Official Information Act (OIA)”. 

Under the OIA rules, MfE has up to 20 days to respond.

“It is sound professional practice to commission independent peer review of core technical elements of proposals like this and the Essential Freshwater documents refer to, and rely on, this review,” Allen added. 

“We simply don’t understand why the MfE doesn’t release it immediately.” 

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