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Central Plains Water Trust loses appeal

Central Plains Water Trust loses appeal on water priority decision from Waimakariri River

The High Court has released its decision on the appeal of an Environment Court declaration giving Ngai Tahu Properties Ltd (NTPL) priority to the remaining “A” allocation block water from the Waimakariri River, over Central Plains Water Trust.

“This appeal decision upholds the August Environment Court declaration,” said Environment Canterbury director regulation Dr Mike Freeman.

“The effect of the Environment Court’s earlier determination was that when a water take application is made, it does not become notifiable until other applications required to better understand the nature of the proposal are made. The first party to have made a notifable application on that basis was NTPL,” said Dr Freeman.

In July, NTPL was granted three consents to take water for irrigation from the Waimakariri River, to develop former forestry land at Eyrewell, North Canterbury.

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 and the less reliable B allocation water. This was granted by Environment Canterbury with provisos as to the outcome of the Environment Court declaration on priority with Central Plains Water Trust, which also sought the remaining allocation of the more reliable “A” block river water.

Central Plains Water Trust appealed the outcome of the Environment Court declaration to the High Court. Judge A P Randerson, Chief High Court Judge, dismissed the appeal and provided a timetable for the parties to file submissions as to costs.


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