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Nelson Iwi Urge the Nation to Get in Behind WCO

Nelson Iwi Urge the Nation to Get in Behind Water Conservation Order
to Protect Te Waikoropupū Springs Before Deadline of New Submission Date

Ngāti Tama ki Te Waipounamu Trust based in Nelson are encouraging the nation to show their support by filing a submission to protect Te Waikoropupū Springs with a Water Conservation Order (WCO).

Following the effects of ex-tropical cyclone Gita on the Nelson and Tasman regions, the Special Tribunal has granted an extension of time, of two weeks, to the date of the closing of submissions on the Water Conservation Order for the Te Waikoropupū Springs and associated water bodies. Submissions now close 4pm 14 March 2018.

The WCO is the highest level of protection to preserve the wāhi tapu (sacred waters) that are known to be the clearest in the world.

Iwi believe now is a critical time concerning water allocation for the region.

The Tākaka Freshwater and Land Advisory Group (FLAG) process of community consultation draws to an end before the WCO Tribunal appointed by the Government convenes. At the same time, the Tasman Resource Management Plan (TRMP) review has yet to be determined by the Tasman District Counsel.

“Ngāti Tama has serious concerns with the current water allocation levels and the identified E. coli levels in our rohe. We do not wish to see any more consents granted on top of that particularly when you factor in over the next two to three years, many existing resources come up for renewal” says John Ward-Holmes, Kaumātua of Ngāti Tama.

He wants to “jog the memory of everyone” to register their support behind the WCO. Online submissions can be lodged through the Environmental Protection Authority website https://submissions.epa.govt.nz/consultations/water-conservation-order-te-waikoropupu-springs/make-a-submission

Iwi trust that there will be no new consents being authorised that would undermine the intention of the WCO. “We would not be happy to accept any more consents allocated” he says, while at the same time acknowledges many in the Council on the ground are “trying very hard” to find a way through the water issues.

Ngāti Tama is an affected party, under the provisions of the Resource Management Act 1991 and Local Government Act 2002, and will be working with the Tasman District Council to assist them to meet its statutory responsibility to consult with the Iwi on planning and resource management issues prior to notification of the Tasman Resource Management Plan.

As Mana Whenua and Kaitiaki of their rohe, Ngāti Tama has an important ancestral role that safeguards the cultural, ecological and spiritual value of the waterways and land for the benefit of the whole community for future generations.

Currently any member of the public can make submissions about the Water Conservation Order which will be considered in March by a Special Tribunal appointed by the Government.

ENDS

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