The Court of Appeal has dismissed Ngāti Awa's appeal to stop a company from taking a billion litres of water from an aquifer near Whakatāne.
Creswell, which is a subsidiary of Chinese soft drink giant Nongfu Spring, had applied to expand its water bottling plant at the Ōtākiri aquifer.
The Eastern Bay of Plenty iwi lost a previous appeal in the High Court in 2020.
Ngāti Awa argued the use and disposal of plastic bottles should have been taken into resource consent consideration.
It also said the expanded export and use of bottles produced at the plant would have an adverse effect on the environment.
The High Court concluded the adverse effects of consumers discarding plastic bottles were too indirect or remote to require further consideration of Creswell's water-take application.
Now the Court of Appeal has backed that decision and ruled those effects were beyond the scope of the consent process.
The Court of Appeal also ordered Ngāti Awa to pay court costs to Creswell and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.