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

 


Waikouaiti Rivers Flows Decision Disappoints Fish & Game

Waikouaiti Rivers Flows Decision Disappoints Fish & Game


Otago Fish & Game Council is disappointed in a recent Otago Regional Council (ORC) decision to grant a consent to take water from the Waikouaiti River with a residual flow of only 170 litres per second to protect instream values during summer low flow periods. The residual flow is the point at which irrigation takes must cease.

Fish & Game had sought a higher residual flow of 320 litres/second as a precautionary move because the consent application comes immediately in advance of ORC’s plans to set a minimum flow for the whole river.

Niall Watson, chief executive of Otago Fish & Game says "We are not opposed to irrigation but believe it is essential the river ecosystem, its trout and whitebait fisheries, its recreational values and estuary health are properly provided for." Mr Watson also says the river has a history of concerns over low summer flows, weed growth and problems with estuary water quality and odours and it is important that any further incremental changes in river health are improvements.

The application was not publicly notified and Fish & Game was the only objector from the affected parties identified by ORC. “That may be because the application was originally portrayed as a straight transfer of two existing water takes to a single new location without any increase in water taken or adverse effects, but that changed prior to the hearing. By then a new consent was proposed with new conditions of use.”

Evidence presented at the hearing clearly showed that the actual use of water for irrigation has been less than the face value of existing consents and that the actual water taken from the river was to increase with a shift in the point of take.

Allocating water during the summer low flow period puts the river ecosystem and fisheries values under increasing pressure at a time of the year when it is already stressed by high water temperatures and reduced fish habitat availability.

Fish & Game is concerned that ORC is cutting flow recommendations for rivers to the bone rather than aiming to maintain healthy river ecosystems, fisheries and recreational values.

“We are also upset that the affected river reach was described by ORC as supporting a low value trout fishery. That is not a logical conclusion from the available evidence especially in a river where migratory trout move between the estuary and the river upstream."

No decision has yet been made by Fish & Game on whether to appeal to the Environment Court. "We have to properly digest the decision before we consider any further action but the granting of a consent could trigger infrastructure development that would influence any future minimum flow debate." adds Mr Watson.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

2040 Target And Lower Standards: “Swimmable” Rivers Five Times More Likely To Make You Sick

Forest & Bird has condemned the government’s new water quality standards, warning New Zealanders that they lock in current levels of water pollution and allow for a 5-fold increase in the chance of getting sick from swimming in a river.

“Despite an explicit assurance from Minister Smith that the new water standards would provide for human and ecosystem health, he has failed to deliver on either of these things,” says Forest & Bird CEO Kevin Hague. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Immigration: Clampdown On Rogue Employers Good First Step

The Human Trafficking Research Coalition is pleased at the new clampdown on rouge employers who exploit migrants announced by Minister Woodhouse this morning, and believes this is a step in the right direction. More>>

ALSO:

Mayor: 750 New Social And Affordable Homes For Wellington (Over A Decade)

The next stage of Wellington’s Housing Upgrade Programme will see at least 750 new units of social and affordable housing built over the next decade, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

22/2: Christchurch Quake Memorial Unveiled

A city, a region, a nation and an international community impacted by the Canterbury Earthquakes will come together to mark the sixth anniversary of the deadly quake and dedicate Oi Manawa Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial. More>>

ALSO:


November Quakes:

Gordon Campbell: On The Mana-Maori Party Deal

If the self-interest involved wasn’t so blatant, the electorate deal between the Maori Party and Hone Harawira would be kind of poignant. It’s a bit like seeing the remaining members of Guns’n’Roses or the Eagles back on the road touring the nostalgia circuit… playing all the old hits of Maori unity and kaupapa Maori politics. More>>

ALSO:

Private Provision: First Social Bond To Focus On Mental Health

New Zealand’s first social bond will help around 1700 people with mental illness into work, Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Social Investment Minister Amy Adams say. More>>

ALSO:

Immigration: Short Reprieve For Nine Indian Students

A temporary hold on deportations of nine Indian students is a step in the right direction but the Government urgently needs to implement safeguards to stop further injustices to more international students, the Green Party says. More>>

EARLIER:


Megaupload Case: High Court Rules Dotcom, Co-Accused Eligible For Extradion

Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and his three co-accused are eligible for extradition to the United States, New Zealand's High Court ruled... Justice Murray Gilbert upheld a decision by the District Court that there were grounds for Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato to be extradited. More>>

ALSO:

PREVIOUSLY:

Port Hills Fire: Midday Update, Monday 20 February

• 9 homes destroyed
• 2 homes with partial damage. Damage includes things like cracked windows, heat damage.
• 3 properties with damage to other external structures e.g sheds or outbuildings More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news