26 Nov 2010

River moratorium supported by Irrigation NZ

2:10 pm on 26 November 2010

Irrigation New Zealand supports a moratorium on new water use consents for the Waiau River in North Canterbury, to bring it into line with the same restrictions on the Hurunui River.

But it wants a conservation order application for the Hurunui withdrawn.

Canterbury Regional Council Commissioners have agreed not to consider new consents to take, dam, divert or use water on the rivers from next month, until October next year.

The Commissioners say that will give them the time to develop a long term sustainable plan for water in North Canterbury.

Irrigation NZ chair Graeme Sutton says it makes sense to integrate the planning process for both catchments under the Canterbury water management strategy.

But he says having a conservation order process running parallel to that, is counter productive.

Fish & Game also supports the moratorium on both rivers. But chief executive Bryce Johnson says it objects to the suggestion that the conservation order application on the Hununui should be withdrawn.