20 Sep 2013

Document blows holes in minister's story, say Greens

12:19 pm on 20 September 2013

The Green Party says a document released by the Minister of Conservation's office shows Conservation Minister Nick Smith is playing fast and loose with the facts relating to a submission on the Ruataniwha Dam proposal.

The briefing note from a 29 July meeting between Dr Smith and his officials says the department's preliminary view was that a submission should be lodged with the Environmental Protection Agency questioning the dam proposal's management of water quality.

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman says the document blows holes in Dr Smith's story.

He says Dr Smith says he did not even know the submission existed until Tuesday, yet the document shows he was briefed about its existence and some of the content in July.

Dr Norman says within 48 hours of the 29 July meeting, the original 32-page submission had been canned and a new two paragraph submission was prepared that did not mention water quality.

Dr Smith's office says he has nothing further to add.