Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Hurunui River threatened by dam proposal

Thursday, March 14, 2002- Christchurch

MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE USE

Hurunui River threatened by dam proposal

Conservationists are concerned that irrigation developers are eyeing up their third major Canterbury river in as many months. Developers in the Hurunui District today announced a proposal to dam the Hurunui River for irrigation. Resource consents have already been lodged to take large volumes from the Rakaia and Waimakariri Rivers.

"The upper Hurunui River above the Culverden Plains is a wild and scenic river. It contains one of the major gorges in the Canterbury Region and is important for recreation, particularly kayaking. The proposal to dam the Hurunui is completely inappropriate," said Forest and Bird researcher Geoff Keey.

Environment Canterbury is proposing to prohibit dams on rivers such as the Hurunui River through its Natural Resources Regional Plan, currently in draft form.

"The public should take heed and make submissions on the draft Natural Resources Regional Plan. It is important that Environment Canterbury gets the message that harmful schemes like this one are unacceptable," Geoff Keey said.

The Hurunui Irrigation and Power Trust today announced their plans to develop a multi-million dollar irrigation and hydroelectric scheme for the Hurunui River. The Trust is led by engineer Max Smith.

"The lower Hurunui River is already over-abstracted because of excessive irrigation and polluted," Geoff Keey said.

In 1980, the North Canterbury Catchment Board noted the high quality of the Hurunui River below the confluence with the Mandamus and stated that "it is not expected that this high standard of water quality will deteriorate." At that time there were no major irrigation schemes in the catchment.

"Water quality sampling by Environment Canterbury and NIWA has shown that water quality in the lower river has deteriorated in recent years. The water and habitat quality of the lower river has declined since irrigation schemes developed and agriculture intensified," Geoff Keey said.

"This trend will continue if further abstraction is allowed. This scheme should be abandoned for environmental reasons."

"Proposals like this are partly a result of Environment Canterbury's failure to prepare a regional water plan fast enough. Because of a vacuum in regional planning, irrigators are proposing schemes that are environmentally unacceptable," Geoff Keey said.

Ends

Contact: Geoff Keey, Researcher - phone 03 366 6317 (w) or 03 366 0655 (w) or 03 365 9455 (h). Eric Pyle, Conservation Manager - phone 04 385 7374 work; 025 227 8420.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news