4 May 2016

Family fight over water wraps up in court

10:12 am on 4 May 2016

An eight-year stoush between two Canterbury cousins over the use of water for irrigation has finally ended.


Photo: 123rf

The case made it all the way to the Supreme Court, but the top court yesterday dismissed one cousin's leave to appeal.

The cousins at the centre of the dispute - Simon and Robert Hampton - are also neighbours.

In 2005, Simon obtained a resource consent to take underground water to irrigate his and Robert's properties.

The problems began in 2008 when the two men disagreed on the use of the water.

A couple of years later Simon applied to transfer the use of the water to his and another neighbour's property.

Robert began his own legal proceedings and eventually applied for a separate resource consent.

Simon's application was granted, but on restricted terms because Robert had also been granted a consent to draw water.

Simon went to the High Court for a judicial review of the Canterbury Regional Council's decision to grant Robert's consent.

When that failed he took the matter to the Court of Appeal.

And when that also failed he went to the Supreme Court, who have also dismissed his case.

"Simon seeks leave to appeal largely on the basis that his application for a variation to a condition of his consent should have been given priority over Robert's fresh application for resource consent," Chief Justice Sian Elias and Justice Mark O'Regan said in their decision.

They also noted that Simon was not in a position to use the water at the time of Robert's application.

The court dismissed Simon's application to appeal and ordered him to pay Canterbury Regional Council $2500 in costs.