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Ngai Tahu Properties Ltd granted water consents

July 24, 2006

MEDIA STATEMENT

Ngai Tahu Properties Ltd granted consents to use Waimakariri River water

Ngai Tahu Properties Ltd (NTPL) has been granted three consents to take water for irrigation from the Waimakariri River, to develop former forestry land at Eyrewell, North Canterbury.

This decision follows the issue in April of a preliminary decision by hearing commissioners Philip Milne (chair) and Dr Brent Cowie.

The case is complicated by the fact that a separate Environment Court hearing has been held to determine who has priority rights to the last allocation of more reliable water Environment Canterbury has made available from the Waimakariri.

The two applicants contesting the water are Ngai Tahu Properties Ltd and Central Plains Water Trust. The Environment Court declaration on priority has not yet been made, but the commissioners have noted that the NTPL applications can be granted on the assumption that Ngai Tahu has priority or that if it does not, this can be addressed via consent conditions.

The commissioners concluded that if Ngai Tahu Properties Ltd had priority over Central Plains Water Trust, any adverse effects on the environment from the abstraction would be minor, as required under the Resource Management Act, and existing users’ reliability of supply would not be affected.

NTPL applied for almost four cumecs (cubic metres per second) of Waimakariri River water, to be comprised of up to 2.7 cumecs of the more reliable A allocation block water (in total 22 cumecs is available in this block for allocation under the Waimakariri River Regional Plan, with a minimum flow of 41 cumecs), and the less reliable B allocation water, with a minimum flow of 63 cumecs.

A copy of the 65-page decision will be on ECan’s website from Tuesday July 25:
http://www.ecan.govt.nz/Resource+Consents/Hearing-decisions.htm

All parties have 15 working days to appeal the decision.


ENDS

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