Environment Court Provides for Partnership Over Motueka Water
Monday 7 May 2012
The Environment Court has found in favour of Tasman District Council’s plans to access water in Motueka.
In its interim decision the Court has cleared the way for Tasman District Council to access the drinking water it needs to meet the demands of a growing Motueka and Tasman area by allowing its resource consent and confirming the necessary changes to its resource management plan.
While the urban reticulation plan for Motueka is still reliant on a subsidy from the Government and the Coastal Tasman pipeline from Motueka to Mapua is several years away, the first stage of the process – the allocation of water - has been allowed in an interim judgement from the Environment Court.
The interim judgement allows for the parties in the case to come together to work out the final details of the conditions within the resource consent for the allocation. The Council and the other parties have been directed by the Court to present the agreed conditions to the Court, failing which the Court will set the conditions.
In commenting on the outcome, Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne said the decision was most welcome as it allowed Council to put in place increased water allocation limits in the Motueka Plains and that this would provide for future supply options to the community.
“The decision is also important in signalling how the Council and iwi can move forward in managing this most valuable resource.“
The Environment Court has provided that iwi and the Council should work together in the spirit of the partnership when it comes to large industrial uses of water.
“We as a council recognise and respect the significance to Māori of the Motueka River and its related waterways and this will underpin our dealings with iwi on this matter. This commitment will be a reflection of the need for an ongoing and constructive relationship with Māori in the region.”
“This case has been going on for some time now and it good to reach this point where Council can look to provide access to the resources essential to meeting the district’s social and economic needs in a way that is environmentally and culturally sustainable,” said Mr Kempthorne.