15 Apr 2010

Protection order sought for regional council witness

1:15 pm on 15 April 2010

Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council has confirmed it sought a protection order to stop Fonterra harassing a scientist.

Cawthron Institute ecologist Roger Young has given a series of reports on the level of pollution in the Manawatu River to hearings about the council's proposed regional plan.

After a newspaper article last year about Dr Young's evidence, Fonterra emailed and phoned him to query its validity.

Lawyers for the Council claimed he was being harassed about his evidence and sought an order from the hearing's commissioners to protect him.

Fonterra denies it was harrassing the scientist. It says the protection order sought was neither tabled nor accepted, after it agreed not contact him again directly.

Dr Young says it probably was not appropriate for Fonterra to contact him, but he never felt harrassed.