This document blows holes in Nick Smith’s story.
Another leaked document shows Conservation Minister Nick Smith is playing fast and loose with the facts, the Green Party said today.
The document leaked today is the briefing note from the 29th of July meeting when Dr Smith was briefed by Deputy Director-General Doris Johnston on the department’s submission. It clearly shows:
- The Minister was briefed that the Department of Conservation (DOC) was going to make a submission;
- The Minister was told that the submission would focus around water quality and nutrient limits and targets; and
- The Minister was told that the submission was going to be “in the name of the Director-General”, not Nick Smith.
“This document blows holes in Nick Smith’s story,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.
“Nick Smith told us that he did not even know that the submission existed until September 17 and yet this document shows he was briefed about its existence and some of the content on 29 July.
“Nick Smith told us that the Department was still engaged in an internal debate on the issue on 29 July but this document shows that the department had formed a preliminary view to make a submission.
“Nick Smith told us that he said DOC needed to be careful when making submissions in his name, but this document shows that it was intended to be submitted in the name of the Director-General of DOC.
“Another leaked email shows that at the July 29 meeting Dr Nick Smith expressed concerns and queried if it should just be left to the EPA.
“Within 48 hours of the Monday meeting the original 32 page submission concerning water quality and nutrient targets, had been canned and a new 2 paragraph submission had been adopted which didn’t even mention water quality.
“Dr Smith is not standing up for conservation. He is interfering with DOC, trying to advance his Government’s anti-environment agenda. The Minister needs to resign,” said Dr Norman.