Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa lodge appeal on water consent

For Immediate Release
Date: 04 July 2018
Subject: Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa lodge appeal on water consent

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa has lodged an appeal in the Environment Court opposing the consents granted to Creswell NZ Ltd to extract 1.1 billion litres of water per annum for water bottling.
This extraction is from the Awaiti aquifer in the Rangitāiki and Tarawera rivers catchments, and in the rohe of Ngāti Awa. There are three existing water bottling consents taking water from the Awaiti aquifer, held by Otākiri Springs, Oravida and Distinction water bottling companies.
Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa is appealing the whole consent for the following reasons, specifically that the Commissioner’s:
• Concluded that there are no adverse effects on the Awaiti aquifer;
• Concluded that there are no adverse cultural effects;
• Had a lack of regard to Ngāti Awa relationships with Tarawera river, Awaiti aquifer and Otākiri springs;
• Had a lack of regard for the Mataatua Declaration on Water which is an iwi planning document.
Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa is seeking:
• That the consents be declined;
• If the consents are granted, that appropriate conditions are developed with Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa to address the adverse effects Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa has identified.
Leonie Simpson, CEO Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa says “The Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa Board which represents 22 hapū of Ngāti Awa unanimously support the appeal because they are seriously concerned about the irreversible harm to this aquifer, the people and the land, and the undermining of our status as kaitiaki and tangata whenua”.
Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa remain concerned about the current consent regime where Regional Council is continuing to grant consents for water bottling despite no regulations existing, and standards and limits for water quality and quantity are still being developed in the Rangitāiki catchment.
While this consenting regime is outside of the grounds Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa can appeal, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa, and Ngāti Awa hapū will continue to advocate for a consent regime that recognises and provides for hapū and iwi interests in freshwater, that complies with legislation, and Council policies.
The Land and Water Forum Report to Ministers released in May 2018 recommends that the government “move quickly…to resolve iwi rights and interests and create a long-term framework”. Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa support this recommendation and are seeking to progress discussions with the Crown as a Treaty partner and tangata whenua.
“The ability for Nongfu to purchase this water bottling operation has been enabled by the government, despite iwi, hapū and community opposition. At every turn, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa has had to advocate for transparency and accountability by local and central government, namely making the consent hearing public, and the participation of hapū, iwi and community in decisions that affect us” says Ms Simpson.
Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa invites submitters to the Creswell NZ Ltd consents to consider joining our appeal as a section 274 interested party. Enquiries on that matter can be directed to Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa Manager Strategy and Policy, Ms Beverley Hughes at bev@ngatiawa.iwi.nz
END

Background
Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa was established under the Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa Act 2005.
Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa submissions at the consent hearing, cultural effects assessment and evidence opposed the consent applications expressing concern for:
•Water quality in the aquifer
•Water quantity in the aquifer
•Potential adverse environmental effects, including the cumulative effects of water takefrom the groundwater system and any adverse effects on surface water bodies including Tarawera River, Awaiti Aquifer, the overall groundwater system to which the aquifer connects and wetlands, waahi tapu and waahi taonga of significance to Ngāti Awa
•The values and interests of tangata whenua in freshwater and its management
Creswell Ltd, on behalf of Nongfu Springs Ltd, applied for and has been granted consent to take water for water bottling purposes at 57 Johnson Road, Otakiri. The owners of Otākiri Springs Ltd currently run a water bottling plant and a kiwifruit orchard which uses water for frost protection and irrigation.
Creswell proposes to purchase the land, disestablish the kiwifruit orchard, expand the water bottling plant and use that water and significant further volumes for water bottling purposes only.
Contact
Leonie Simpson
CEO
Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa
07 307 0760
runanga@ngatiawa.iwi.nz

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