News Media Swallows ECan Fudge

Wednesday 14 September 2011, 10:47AM
By ECan In Exile


Canterbury citizens have reacted with dismay at the seeming blind acceptance of anything the Minister of Environment says about ECan without, it seems, seeking balancing comment from knowledgeable commentators.

The latest incident is the early morning reporting by Radio NZ of a National Party question in Parliament to Environment Minister, Nick Smith on his slant on ECan consent processing timelines since the National led government removed the democratically elected ECan council.

Earlier today Radio NZ reported the Ministers assertions of consent time improvements and a dairy owners satisfaction but did not report any balancing comments in early reports from others like the ECan councillors from the period in question. This despite ECan in Exiles understanding that respected former ECan Councillor, Eugenie Sage, provided Radio NZ with balancing written comments, figures & audio the evening before.

ECan in Exile's Helen Isra said this extremely disappointing given that Canterbury citizens view a balanced media as their last bastion of holding the government and commissioners to account.

"It was well known and reported in the media that by time of the Creech report that consent processing was increasingly well within statutory guidelines and it is extremely disappointing that no balancing views were reported in the early morning RNZ news from knowledgeable ECan councillors such as Sir Kerry Burke, Eugene Sage, Jo Kane or Rik Tindall all of who's contact details are on the ECan in Exile website. The slant from the Minister is no more than we have come to expect from him  but we expect better balance from one of NZ's most respected media organisations." Isra said.

ECan in Exile says that by the time of the Creech report ECan was reporting 85% of consents were processed within time frames. Isra says this information is on ECan's own website and it would have been the work of a moment for the media to check out the voracity of the Ministers assertions.