HBRC, EDS & F&G jointly seek clarification on Ruataniwha Scheme consents

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, the Environmental Defence Society and Fish & Game New Zealand have jointly agreed to seek clarification from the Environment Court on key elements of the resource consents for the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme.

The parties want clarification in the requirement within the Scheme’s land use consent conditions to “operate in a manner consistent with” achieving the in-stream DIN Limits of 0.8mg/l by 2030. They say there is ambiguity in the consent conditions set by the Board of Inquiry.

There may also be supplementary questions added relating to the Tukituki Plan (Plan Change 6).

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Chairman Rex Graham says the council’s recent review of the Scheme highlighted uncertainty around the consent conditions and it is important this is cleared up now.

Fish & Game New Zealand Chief Executive Bryce Johnson says it is in the long term interests of Hawke’s Bay to have this clarified to offset the risk of further litigation in the future.

Environmental Defence Society Chief Executive Gary Taylor says Hawke’s Bay Regional Council should be congratulated on taking this path in order to clarify the workability of the Scheme’s consents.

The parties understand Council’s investment company; HBRIC Ltd is considering whether to join the proceedings.

The matter is expected to be dealt with by the Environment Court before the end of 2017.

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