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Mackenzie Basin One Step Closer To Water

Mackenzie Basin One Step Closer To Water

The Mackenzie Basin community has come a step closer to seeing the return of promised water for irrigation with agreement today from all Parties in Parliament that the deal made with the community should be honoured.

Mackenzie Basin spokesman, Denis Fastier said it was a victory for the whole community that during the debate on the Resource Management (Waitaki Catchment) amendment Bill every Party agreed that the commitment made to the Basin when the water sources of the district were taken for electricity generation cannot be ignored.

“Every party agreed that the Basin is owed the water. What they couldn’t agree on was that the Bill was the best way to deliver it,” he said.

Denis Fastier said that the community had battled for the past 10 months to gain recognition in Parliament that the promise made to the Basin in the late 60’s for irrigation water is live and must be honoured.

“In that time the community has gained backing locally and nationally which includes Members of Parliament and Federated Farmers. The support was really highlighted by our petition to Parliament that gathered 2,800 signatures in just 6 days,” he said.

“It was heartening today to see all the Parties recognise the debt of water that is owed to the Basin,” he said.

Thirty-five years ago a deal was made with this community in good faith that the Upper Waitaki Hydro Development would provide us with water for irrigation. That deal was for as long as the water was required for power generation. …/2 - 2 -

For the people of the Mackenzie Basin this is a deeply felt issue and one for which they are prepared to continue to campaign until the original commitment is upheld.

“We’re very confident that we will get our water,” said Denis Fastier.

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