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41 Groundwater consents in Selwyn-Waimakariri

October 20, 2008


Groundwater consents granted to 41 applicants in the Selwyn-Waimakariri groundwater zone.

A resource consent panel has granted 41 groundwater consents in the Selwyn-Waimakariri groundwater zone, Central Canterbury. The consents are for ten years, not the 15 years sought by the applicants. Reasons for the reduced term noted by the commissioners include:

• A level of residual uncertainty regarding the effects of the additional water takes, in the zone, which is graded as red or fully allocated by ECan scientists,
• The potential for climate change effects over the next 10 years,
• A level of uncertainty surrounding adaptive management conditions proposed in this case, which are a relatively new approach to water management,
• Theten year period provides a level of safety “in the unlikely event of more than minor additional adverse effects arising from the granting of the new consents”, as the commissioners held that “a 10 year term should ensure that such effects are not irreversible.” (See the decision notes (Pages 187 and 188)).

The independent commissioners making up the panel, appointed by Environment Canterbury, are Paul Rogers (chairman), Wayne Russell and Dr Greg Ryder.

Environment Canterbury (ECan) had recommended that the hearing panel decline the applications because ECan considers the Selwyn-Waimakariri groundwater zone to be a red groundwater zone or fully allocated.

The resource consent hearing began mid 2007.

ECan has advised all parties of the decision. Submitters and applicants have 15 working days from notification to appeal the decision.

The report is available on the ECan website: www.ecan.govt.nz/hearingdecisions


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