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Water Conservation Order decision applauded

Water Conservation Order decision applauded

Forest and Bird today welcomed Environment Minister Marian Hobbs' sign-off of the Motueka River Water Conservation Order and commended Fish and Game for negotiating an agreement under the Resource Management Act 1991.

"The Water Conservation Order is good news for freshwater conservation. It will ensure protection of blue duck habitat in the upper tributaries of the Motueka River and it will protect the amazing water-formed karst caves and features of Mt Arthur and Mt Owen," said Forest and Bird's Conservation Manager Kevin Hackwell.

"The lower river will be protected from being dammed or having too much water taken out of it while the wild and scenic character of the Red Hills and Wangapeka areas will also be protected," he said.

"Fish and Game has kept pushing for the protection of this river and we are pleased that the Government has finally agreed to sign off on the order protecting the river. This is a good example of how the Resource Management Act can work to protect the environment through negotiation," he said.

"It is important that the Government retains its commitment to Water Conservation Orders like the ones on the Buller, Rakaia and now the Motueka. These are a vital means of protecting the quality and character of our rivers," he said.

"Politicians would do well to reflect on the recent survey that showed quality of life and a healthy environment is more important to New Zealanders than rampant economic growth. Water Conservation Orders make an enormous contribution to New Zealanders' quality of life and environment," he said.

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