EDS and Fish & Game offer to back HRC on Ruataniwha court ruling

The Environmental Defence Society and Fish & Game have jointly offered to co-operate with Hawke’s Bay Regional Council in obtaining an Environment Court ruling on ambiguities in the consent conditions for the proposed Ruataniwha Dam.

According to EDS CEO Gary Taylor, the ambiguities concern the Nitrogen limits in the consent conditions that were set by the Board of Inquiry. The dispute is over whether or not the Nitrogen limits constitute compliance limits: The company claims they do not.

“We disagree and claim that they are indeed compliance limits and the company has to achieve them progressively by 2030 and maintain them after that target date,” said Mr Taylor. “In some parts of the catchment those limits are already being exceeded”, he added.

Fish & Game CEO Bryce Johnson says that his organisation is concerned to see that land use changes anywhere in New Zealand only occur if freshwater quality can be maintained or improved. “The Council in its regulatory role has to be clear what the conditions of consent for the dam require. There is uncertainty so we are offering to assist Council to get clarity,’ he said.

The offer means that EDS, Fish & Game and the Council would jointly agree on the questions to ask the Environment Court and would argue their respective positions to ensure the Court heard the full range of argument.

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Image credit: Hawkes Bay Regional Council