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Rangitata Water Conservation Order is made

23 June 2006

Rangitata Water Conservation Order is made

The Rangitata River in South Canterbury is now protected by a Water Conservation Order, Environment Minister David Benson-Pope announced today.

“The Conservation Order identifies the outstanding characteristics of the Rangitata River, and lists the waters that are to be retained in their natural state,” said Mr Benson-Pope.

“The Order also sets out constraints on damming, alteration of river flow and form, maintenance of fish passage, and alteration of water quality that apply to other parts of the river.

“The scope of the Water Conservation Order also recognises the economic value of the river, and provides for some existing uses, including the Rangitata Diversion Race,” said Mr Benson-Pope.

The Rangitata River runs from the Southern Alps to the east coast, north of Temuka, and is one of the major river systems in South Canterbury.

The Order ends a process begun by Fish and Game New Zealand in December 1999 to protect the Rangitata’s outstanding values.

The river has special importance for Ngai Tahu, and they supported Fish and Game’s application for the Water Conservation Order.

A special tribunal was appointed in October 2000 to consider 1,100 written submissions. It held hearings in 2001 and released its report in October 2002. The Tribunal’s recommendation to grant a Water Conservation Order was then subject to further submissions at the Environment Court.

In September last year, the Environment Court released its final report recommending a Water Conservation Order on the Rangitata River.

The Order will take effect from late July.

ENDS

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