ECan in Exile has labelled the breaking news that the Government has approved it's unelected ECan commissioners using special powers to block any water being taken from the Hurunui River for the next 15 months as undemocratic and unsustainable in the long-term.
The pro-democracy organisation commented that although breathing space for proper consideration of a sustainable management of the Hurunui is welcome, it did not need unelected commissioners to achieve it. The group contends that Environment Canterbury and its CEO had been seeking better legislative water management tools since at least 2005 yet the government saw fit to only bestow these potentially draconian tools to it's commissioners who are not democratically accountable to the people of Canterbury.
"Without a truly representative democracy these closed-door decisions cannot be a long-term sustainable position simply because they do not take the community will along with them. This decision will only add Canterbury's responsible rural citizens to the growing list of opponents of this anti-democratic government." spokesperson Helen Isra said.
Open and democratic decision-making is likely to be both a local and central government election issue with CCC mayoral candidate Jim Anderton saying recently,"What Christchurch needs is more openness, better decisions and more action".