Full speed ahead for water agreements despite appeal
18 July 2014
HBRIC Ltd reassures farmers it is full speed ahead for signing up water agreements despite appeal
The Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company Limited (HBRIC Ltd) is reassuring farmers signing up to take water from the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme that it is full speed ahead despite an appeal to the Board of Inquiry’s final decision on the scheme and Tukituki Plan Change 6.
Hawke’s Bay & Eastern Fish & Game Councils lodged an appeal to the Board’s final decision at the last minute yesterday.
HBRIC Ltd Chief Executive Andrew Newman says potential water users need to know that HBRIC Ltd is very confident the Board’s final decision provides a workable consent for the scheme, and HBRIC Ltd will be advising the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council of this at its meeting on 30 July.
“HBRIC Ltd is also of the view that the RWSS combined with the Tukituki Plan Change will deliver both environmental improvements for the river and a more resilient and prosperous economy,” says Mr Newman.
“It is unfortunate that Fish & Game has decided to appeal the Board’s final decision. There has been an extremely robust process resulting in what Fish & Game Chief Executive Bryce Johnson, said on 30 June ‘remains a significant victory for freshwater quality’.
Mr Newman says Fish & Game’s decision to appeal completely contradicts that statement and indicates that the appeal is simply a delaying tactic, rather than having any substance to it. It also indicates that Fish & Game’s position is very narrowly focused.
He says HBRIC Ltd is, however, hopeful the appeal can be heard with some urgency so that this delay does not prejudice the existing commercial negotiations.
Mr Newman says in its final decision the Board corrected certain aspects of its draft decision, which the Board described as having unintended effects. Through its appeal Fish & Game is seeking to have those corrections reversed.
He says HBRIC Ltd staff are working closely with farmers keen to sign water contracts with the scheme and this process will continue despite the appeal, as HBRIC Ltd has confidence in the Board’s final decision.