Ngāti Rangitihi concerned about plans to expand plant
29 January 2020
Ngāti Rangitihi concerned about plans to expand Otakiri Springs water bottling plant
Te Mana o Ngāti Rangitihi Trust (Te Mana), on behalf of Ngāti Rangitihi, has expressed concerns about the resource consents granted to Otakiri Springs bottling plant which could allow them to increase their take of groundwater for commercial purposes.
Te Mana Chair, Leith Comer, says it is disappointing that the Environment Court has declined appeals to put a stop to this proposed expansion, which could see more than 1.1 million cubic metres of water annually, or 5,000 cubic metres a day, taken and bottled by the overseas-owned company.
“This is four times the amount of water already being taken,” says Mr Comer. “Before any increase is granted, we need greater assurance of the ability of the Awaiti Aquifer to be able to sustain this expansion.”
“It is clear that there is mounting resistance from New Zealanders to the current laws which allow large quantities of our freshwater to be sold off to offshore interests,” says Mr Comer.
“Adding to that, is the overarching issue regarding the negligible returns that Māori are receiving from those taking advantage of our Wai Māori,” says Mr Comer.
The Iwi says it supports the decision of neighbouring iwi Ngāti Awa and local residents to appeal this significant issue with the High Court.
“We hope to see a positive and reasonable outcome from this process,” says Mr Comer.
“It is the right of iwi and Aotearoa to challenge decisions like this, which are bound to have negative impacts on the sustainability of our natural resources.”