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North Bank Tunnel hearing panel interim decision

December 2, 2008


MEDIA STATEMENT


Meridian’s Waitaki River North Bank Tunnel hearing panel interim decision

Meridian Energy Ltd has been granted four resource consents to divert, take, use and discharge water from the Lower Waitaki River for its North Bank Tunnel Concept hydro- electricity proposal.

The 209-page decision is now available on ECan’s website at “What’s new” on the homepage www.ecan.govt.nz

Or: www.ecan.govt.nz/Resource+Consents/WaitakiConsents/NorthBankTunnelConcept.htm

The interim decision is subject to the parties involved reconvening to finalise some outstanding consent conditions on December 16 and 17 in Christchurch. It was issued yesterday by Environment Canterbury-appointed hearing panel commissioners - Professor Peter Skelton, chair and former Environment Court judge, Mike Bowden, environmental consultant, and Dr Greg Ryder, freshwater scientist.

The North Bank Tunnel Concept proposes to take water from Lake Waitaki and pass it through a tunnel and power station before discharging the water into the Waitaki River at Stonewall. The hearings began in August last year and were followed by hearings for the Hunter Downs Irrigation Scheme, lodged by Meridian Energy and the South Canterbury Irrigation Trust.

More than 200 of the 430 submitters to the North Bank Tunnel Concept requested to present their case to commissioners in person.


ENDS

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