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Improved process sought for Waitaki applications

Improved process sought for Waitaki applications

The government is consulting interested parties on the possibility of a better process for deciding resource consent applications for Waitaki water to reduce costs and uncertainty, Environment Minister Marian Hobbs announced today.

"There are a number of applications for water use in the Waitaki catchment including irrigation proposals by Aoraki Water Trust and Irrigation North Otago, as well as the energy-focused Project Aqua," Marian Hobbs said.

The focus is on achieving a better process so all the relevant information is considered and the decisions are transparent. The government is working with the local authorities and applicants to get their views on the proposal and how to develop the best process.

"This process is limited to proposals for the Waitaki catchment and will be consistent with RMA principles," Marian Hobbs said. “For instance, individuals in the community will be able to make submissions on the environmental effects of each proposal, as they can now.

"The government is committed to improving water quality and allocation through a $2 million allocation in this year’s budget, but the programme will not be completed in time to resolve the Waitaki situation."

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