Locals rally against proposed Water Conservation Order

Hawkes Bay residents, farmers, Iwi, councillors and politicians rallied on Tuesday in opposition to the proposed Water Conservation Order for the Ngaruroro river and for 7km of the Clive River, claiming that it threatens jobs and livelihoods.

The organisations behind the Water Conservation Order (WCO) application are dismissing these concerns, noting that protecting and preserving the outstanding values of the Ngaruroro river and 7km of the Clive River in their current state means that existing water rights will continue.

The application for a Water Conservation Order for Hawkes Bay’s Ngaruroro and Clive Rivers was jointly lodged by a group of organisations, including Fish & Game, Ngati Hori ki Kohupatiki, Forest & Bird, Whitewater NZ and Jet Boating NZ.

“This extraordinary set of claims that are being made, that 97 per cent of water rights will be cancelled, thousands of jobs lost, community destroyed, is complete garbage”, said Kevin Hague, Forest & Bird’s Chief Executive.

Water Conservation Orders give rivers and lakes the equivalent of National Park-type protection. If the application is successful, it will be only the 16th of New Zealand’s many waterways to be protected by a WCO.

All public submissions should have been lodged for consideration by the Special Tribunal, by 4pm Friday 24 August.

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WCO lodged to protect Hawke’s Bay’s Ngaruroro River