Media release

Regional Council Chair accepts Ministerial direction

Thursday 21 November 2019

Otago Regional Councillors have received a letter from Minister for the Environment David Parker (attached below) summarising the outcome of an investigation he requested in May into ORC’s preparedness to resolve historic mining privileges ahead of their 2021 deadline.

The investigation, undertaken by Honorary Professor Peter Skelton, sought to determine whether ORC was on track to implement a planning framework that gives effect to the National Policy Statement on Freshwater Management in time to consider water permit applications before the expiry of “deemed permits” (historic mining privileges). The investigation also sought to identify what support ORC could use to achieve this.

ORC Chairperson Marian Hobbs says the Council accepts and welcomes the Ministerial direction.

“Sorting out our planning framework is a priority for our newly-elected Council. Minister Parker has set us a clear framework for progressing this, and we will respond as such. An extra-ordinary Council meeting has been set for 27 November to discuss the way forward together as a Council.”

Chairperson Hobbs emphasises ORC’s strong commitment to working alongside the community.

“Together, we have a lot of work ahead. It will be absolutely essential that we work with the community every step of the way.”


Read this article from earlier this year for more information on the investigation.

Read Minister Parker's media release on his recommendations.