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

 

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news