25 Mar 2013

Salmon farm decision set to fuel RMA debate

1:45 pm on 25 March 2013

The decision to grant four new salmon farms in the Marlborough Sounds has added fuel to the Resource Management Act debate.

New Zealand King Salmon put an application through an Environmental Protection Authority board of inquiry.

While the Marlborough District Council acknowledges it was appropriate to do this, it says it feels the decision-making process was taken out of its hands.

Mayor Alistair Sowman says the council felt its efforts in creating a 10-year plan for the Sounds were thrown into disarray.

"The mere fact that we'd consulted with people in that area over a 10-year period," he says. "We developed a plan and we believed we owed it to those people to defend that plan."

The Government is reforming the Resource Management Act - a move that could affect how such applications are handled in the future.