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Consent applications lodged for lake structures

Consent applications lodged for lake structures

For immediate release: Tuesday 22 December 2009

Environment Bay of Plenty has lodged resource consent applications for the operation of the Ōhau Channel Weir and the Okere Gates.

The lodgement allows the regional council to continue operating the structures on its existing consents while the application for a new consent is processed.

There are four consents issued in 1996 for the control structures in Lake Rotorua (Ohau Channel Weir structure) and Lake Rotoiti (the Okere Gates), which are for the structures’ placement and use. They are due to expire on 30 June 2010. The consents are currently held by the Rivers and Drainage Group of Environment Bay of Plenty.

The structures control lake levels, reducing risk of flooding and droughts in Lake Rotorua and Lake Rotoiti.

Ken Tarboton, Rivers and Drainage group manager for Environment Bay of Plenty, said the lodgement was the first step in the process of obtaining consent to continue operating the structures.

“We won’t be seeking to notify the application until we’ve carried out more consultation and investigation, to address stakeholder and community concerns regarding the future lake control operations,” Mr Tarboton said.

He said notification was expected to occur mid-2010 and a consultation programme would be released early-2010.

“We have partnered with Te Arawa Lakes Trust to look at possible future operating strategies for both Lake Rotorua and Lake Rotoiti. The Rivers and Drainage Group will also continue to consult with all stakeholders on the starting point lake level range before the application is notified.”

Mr Tarboton said it was important to note that nothing in the application would be set in concrete until the public notification occurred.

Further information on the Okere Gates and Ohau Weir consenting project can be found on Environment Bay of Plenty's website www.envbop.govt.nz .

ENDS

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