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Waitaki Resource Consent Applications notification

Waitaki Resource Consent Applications notification

Environment Minister Marian Hobbs will publicly notify the Project Aqua resource consent applications she 'called in' last month, on December 6.

The minister is also working with local authorities to ensure that any land use applications and notices of requirement associated with Project Aqua are notified at the same time.

"Notifying these applications together provides interested people with a complete picture," Marian Hobbs said today. "This means that we can start collecting information now about the effect of Project Aqua and community concerns and support. I know that there is a high level of interest in Project Aqua and people want their say.

"By notifying the applications we provide an opportunity for the public to present their views. It also means the Statutory Body, which will develop the Water Allocation Framework, will have access to information from the consent process to assist it.

"I announced earlier that the government was going to intervene in the process of water allocation for the Waitaki. It is important that the process, which requires legislative change, occurs as quickly as possible. By initiating notification of Project Aqua now, I am allowing all the information on the proposal to be in the public arena.

"Following notification, any submissions on Project Aqua will be collated and will be made available to the Statutory Body developing the framework.

"If the Statutory Body is to make the really hard decisions that we anticipate, it will need real information about applications and community comments, not theoretical data."

Notifying the applications prior to the framework also ensures that the risk of any time delays is minimised, and that planning already undertaken by all parties is put to good use.

While the applications will be notified on December 6, providing they meet the requirements of the Resource Management Act for notification, they will not be determined until the special legislation for the Waitaki is passed, and before the Waitaki Catchment Water Allocation Framework completed.

Marian Hobbs expects the legislation to be introduced to Parliament before Christmas.

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