23 Mar 2010

National MP heckled at rally for regional council

5:02 pm on 23 March 2010

A National Party MP has been heckled by supporters of the Canterbury Regional Council at a rally in Christchurch.

The Government is considering whether to follow the recommendations of a critical report that recommends replacing the council with a government-appointed commission.

The report, by a panel headed by former cabinet minister Wyatt Creech, says there is an enormous gap in the council's ability to manage freshwater, and a new authority should be set up to oversee water management.

Water conservation groups which support the regional council organised a rally in Victoria Square on Monday, World Water Day.

National MP Nicky Wagner told the rally that the Government is committed to doing a better job of managing water, but she was heckled by the crowd of about 200 throughout her speech.

Regional councillor Eugenie Sage said that Canterbury ratepayers deserve a say in who controls their water resources, and that putting water management in the hands of commissioners would be undemocratic.