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

 


Cultural concerns behind decline of water application

: 17 October, 2012


Cultural concerns behind decline of water application

An independent commissioner has declined an application by a Northland company to take extra water from Whangarei’s Poroti Springs, citing an inability to properly monitor its effects on the springs and the impact of that on Maori cultural values.

Zodiac Holdings Limited had asked the Northland Regional Council for permission to take up to 2500 cubic metres of water daily between May and December each year, telling the council it wished to provide “investment certainty for the marketing and distribution of bottled water in South East Asia and China”.

However, in a just-released decision, independent commissioner Rob van Voorthuysen declines the consent, but signals the door may still be open for Zodiac, if it can resolve the three “quite narrow” key matters that led to his decision.

The application centred on Zodiac’s wish to take an extra 1500 cubic metres of water a day, increasing its maximum daily take to 2500 cu m. It was heard by the Napier-based commissioner on the regional council’s behalf in Whangarei in late August.

In his decision, Mr van Voorthuysen noted that all iwi submitters on Zodiac’s application had raised the issue that the groundwater involved was subject to a Treaty of Waitangi claim.

But he noted it was “well settled law” that the Resource Management Act and Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975 were distinct legal regimes and Treaty claims “are not to impede legitimate RMA processes”.

“In that regard, I find that the matter of a claim to the Waitangi Tribunal is not a relevant consideration in this case.”

Instead, Mr van Voorthuysen’s decision to decline the consent is based on the “absence of a proven to be fit-for-purpose, implementable and enforceable means” of monitoring a suggested minimum flow at a historical flow measuring site known as “Fig Tree”.

The Fig Tree site is owned by local Whatitiri hapu, Te Uriroroi, which refused permission for Zodiac to install a monitoring weir and water level recorder there.

There was also a lack of evidence to show the suggested 40 litres per second continuation flow rate would be adequate to recognise and provide for “the cultural use of, and Maori interests and values in, the water emanating from the Poroti Springs and thereafter in the unnamed tributary of the Waipao Stream…”

Mr van Voorthuysen also took into account the potential adverse effects of the proposed Zodiac abstraction and suggested 40 l/s flow on an existing intake structure owned by another consent holder, “and how any actual such adverse effects might be avoided remedied or mitigated”.

However, he noted that the other matters raised by submitters were either of little determinative weight or could be addressed by existing or amended consent conditions.

“Consequently, in my opinion if the three matters (that led to his rejection of the application) were able to be resolved then any future application might well lead to a more favourable outcome for the applicant”.

Mr van Voorthuysen’s decision can now be appealed to the Environment Court for 15 working days.


ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Transport Report: LGNZ Calls For Proactive Approach To Mobilise Regions

LGNZ has today released Mobilising the Regions, its major transport study, which highlights the economic and social impact of strategic transport decisions nationally and in the regions, and the direct link between regional development, national prosperity, social well-being and cohesiveness. More>>

ALSO:

Transport: New Rules Bring Double-Deckers To Our Cities

New rules that allow buses, including double-deckers, to carry more people will ramp up the public transport offering in our cities, Transport Minister Simon Bridges and Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss say. More>>

ALSO:

Cycling:


Images & Video: Four Alternative Flags For Referendum

Flag Consideration Panel chair, Professor John Burrows, said the Panel’s decision had been guided first and foremost by the results of its engagement programme across a range of communities where thousands of Kiwis shared what was special about New Zealand, as well as the Panel’s own selection criteria. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: New Figures Show Speculators Rampant

New figures released by the Reserve Bank show there’s been an explosion in mortgage lending with most of the growth going to property investors, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. More>>

ALSO:

False Official Information Response: English's Apology Accepted

Finance Minister Bill English is being thanked for his apology to New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland Rt Hon Winston Peters... Mr English says his staff and the Treasury have searched again, and they found the document that they denied having. More>>

ALSO:

Midwives On Pay Equity: Historic Bill Of Rights Case For High Court

“We have been left with no choice.” That from Karen Guilliland, the Chief Executive of the New Zealand College of Midwives, as the organisation prepares to file a pay parity discrimination case on the basis of gender under the NZ Bill of Rights Act in the High Court. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news