Wellington, May 27 NZPA - The Labour Party will introduce a Member's Bill aimed at reinstating a democratically elected Environment Canterbury council, Labour leader Phil Goff says.
The Government sacked the council and appointed a panel of commissioners, saying water management in the region was a shambles.
Mr Goff said MP Brendon Burns would take a draft bill, which would require commissioners to call elections within three months of it becoming law, to Labour's caucus next week.
He said the Government's legislation was rammed through Parliament under urgency, giving the people of Canterbury no chance to have their say.
"Decisions will be made by unelected commissioners and local people will be denied any ability to seek reconsideration of their decisions in the Environment Court. The new law undermines protection provided by Water Conservation Orders for waters of 'outstanding amenity or intrinsic values'," Mr Goff said.
The new commission is chaired by Dame Margaret Bazley with former Labour minister David Caygill as deputy.
The Government intends going ahead with council elections in 2013.