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

Gordon Campbell: On The Fallout From The Barclay Tape

This is hardly a case of cleaning out your desk and being turfed out onto the pavement.

As others have pointed out, the disgraced Clutha-Southland MP will remain on the public payroll for three months until the election, and for three months afterwards. More>>

 

Ombudsman: Canterbury Schools Reorganisation Mishandled

An investigation into the Canterbury schools reorganisation after the February 2011 earthquakes has found significant gaps and flaws in the Ministry’s engagement and communications with schools and communities. More>>

ALSO:

Law Commission: Contempt Report "Protects Right To Fair Trial"

The proposed Act limits what news media representatives and bloggers can report on court proceedings, but it also makes clearer than the current law where the line is between contempt and freedom of expression. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Our Refugee Intake (And Uber’s Woes)

On figures released this week, there are currently 65.6 million people worldwide who have been displaced from their homes by war, famine or other external causes… More>>

ALSO:

IGIS Report: GCSB Support For Groser WTO Bid Not Illegal

“The inquiry has found that the GCSB did not act unlawfully or improperly in providing assistance to the New Zealand government campaign”, Ms Gwyn said. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: Pike And Houses

There were questions on Pike River mine re-entry after new video from inside the drift was released over the weekend. English maintained a human effort would not be feasible irrespective of any future coalition demands from NZ First. He said the government would continue to work with families on non-manned re-entry. More>>

ALSO:

Flogging A Dead Horse: NZ First Seeks New s59 Referendum

10 years on from the so called “anti-smacking” law - NZ First calls for a binding referendum. NZ First MP Tracey Martin told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that the law change has had a “chilling effect” on NZ parents including herself. More>>

ALSO:

Always Interesting: Internet Party Has New Leader

The Internet Party has a new leader: Suzie Dawson... She currently resides in Moscow, Russia, where she has applied for temporary asylum due to severe persecution she reports being subjected to by those whose corruption she worked to expose.More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog
More RSS News Alerts