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

Scoop's Pledgeme Campaign To Become A Not-For-Profit Finishes Sunday 29th - Please Pledge Now
AMA: Scoop's 'Invisible Paywall'


Gordon Campbell: On A Funeral In Asia, The Northland By-Election, And News Priorities

Supposedly, New Zealand’s destiny lies in Asia, and that was one of Foreign Minister Murray McCully’s rationales for his bungled reforms at MFAT. OK. So, if that’s the case why didn’t Prime Minister John Key – who was already in South Korea – stay in the region so that he could attend the state funeral on Sunday of Singapore’s founding leader Lee Kuan Yew?

Instead, Key returned to New Zealand to campaign in the Northland by-election, and Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae will represent this country in his place. Bad call. Key has put the domestic interests of his party ahead of New Zealand’s wider interests on the world stage. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security: Inquiry Into GCSB Pacific Allegations

The complaints follow recent public allegations about GCSB activities. The complaints, and these public allegations, raise wider questions regarding the collection, retention and sharing of communications data. More>>

ALSO:

TPPA Investment Leak: "NZ Surrender To US" On Corporates Suing Governments

Professor Jane Kelsey: ‘As anticipated, the deal gives foreign investors from the TPPA countries special rights, and the power to sue the government in private offshore tribunals for massive damages if new laws, or even court decisions, significantly affected their bottom line’. More>>

ALSO:

Enrol By Friday: Time’s Almost Up Before Northland By-Election

If you want to vote in the Northland by-election and you’re not enrolled, time is running out. That’s the message from Northland Registrar of Electors Deborah Darton, with just a few days to go until the by-election this Saturday, 28 March. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: The Myth Of Steven Joyce

Gordon Campbell: The myth of competence that’s been woven around Steven Joyce – the Key government’s “Minister of Everything” and “Mr Fixit” – has been disseminated from high-rises to hamlets, across the country... More>>

ALSO:

RMTU: No Public Submissions On International Government Procurement Deal

“The government is preparing to assent to the Government Procurement Agreement, a World Trade Organisation Treaty which opens up New Zealand Government contracts to foreign companies and closes the door on local businesses and their workers. However the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee is refusing to take public submissions on the decision.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Pacific Spying

So New Zealand spied on its friends and allies in the Pacific – and has not only been passing on the results to the NSA, but has apparently passed on the details of the Pacific’s relations with Taiwan to our other best friends, the Chinese. On the side, the Key government has also been using the security services to gauge the chances of Trade Minister Tim Groser landing the top job at the WTO... More>>

ALSO:

State Housing Transfer: Salvation Army Opts Out

The Salvation Army has decided against negotiating with Government for the transfer of Housing New Zealand stock.
More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news