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Waitaki Water Wins

10 September 2004

Waitaki Water Wins

New Zealand First says that the formulation of a model for water allocation in the Waitaki Bill means that the sustainability of the river for present and future generations is secure.

“The Waitaki Catchment legislation provides for the development of a framework for the management of the river, including balancing the competing demands for water and contingency planning in times of drought or other environmental calamity,” said environment spokesperson Jim Peters.

“This amendment to the RMA was always about water allocation, and it’s pleasing that the bill went ahead despite the canning of Project Aqua.

“The concerns of recreational and commercial users will be resolved in an orderly and transparent process through the regional water plan, bringing benefit to the community and consideration to the health and enhancement of the river.

“Ideally, the water plan created will become a standard model that can be used by councils nationwide when dealing with the issues involved in the management of rivers, lakes and streams.

“It’s disappointing, however, that an amendment giving regard to the 1969 Order in Council was lost, and I remind Minister Hobbs of promises made to Parliament.

“Let’s not forget that water is fundamental to our way of life at work, home and play. There is huge economic wealth out there that is dependent on water. Unfortunately it’s not a limitless resource, and requires careful management. This bill is an important step in that direction, and should ensure certainty for those dependent upon water for their lilvelihood,” said Mr Peters.


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