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Support For Ngai Tahu Stance

6 July 2006

Support For Ngai Tahu Stance On Plains Water Scheme

Fish & Game is pleased to note that Ngai Tahu has clarified its position on the Central Plains Water scheme and withdrawn its support.

“The recent advice from Ngai Tahu clarifying their opposition to this scheme is welcome, and identifies those concerns and issues raised by many others in relation to the proposed scheme,” said Jason Holland, Fish & Game’s North Canterbury Environment Officer.

“These concerns include the significant detrimental effect of the scheme on ground water quality and on Lake Ellesmere, the change in the scheme from a water harvesting scheme to run of the river abstraction, and the effective privatisation of water. The changes from the original intention only make the Central Plains Water scheme less acceptable from both a sustainable environmental position, and in terms of privatisation of a public resource,” he said.

Fish & Game has worked with Ngai Tahu in the past on water quality and river conservation issues, with the granting of a water conservation order for the Rangitata river being the most recent. “We now look forward to a similar shared goal for Canterbury water, and opposition to the Central Plains irrigation scheme and the protection and restoration of Lake Ellesmere are priority actions,” said Mr. Holland.

Both Fish & Game and Ngai Tahu have gained representation on the Government’s recently announced Sustainable Water Programme of Action Ministerial Advisory Group, which will provide high level advice to Government on the future management of the country’s fresh water resources.

ENDS

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