Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Save the Rangitata

The Rangitata river is one of the most sensitive in Canterbury. It is currently subject to a Water Conservation Order, restricting the amount of water that can be taken from it. Despite that, ECan - still dominated by National-appointed dictators to prevent Cantabrians from protecting their water - has approved further takes for irrigation. Now, environmental organisations are appealing:

A "David versus Goliath" battle is looming as a group of anglers gets set to take a major Rangitata River irrigation scheme to the Environment Court

The New Zealand Salmon Anglers Association's appeal is one of three against a decision to grant the Rangitata Diversion Race irrigation scheme consent to take an additional 10 cubic metres of water per second when the river is at high flows. An Environment Canterbury-appointed independent hearings commission granted the consent on July 6.


According to Ngai Tahu's appeal, "the resource consent will have significant adverse impacts on the mauri of the Rangitata River and hence significant adverse cultural impacts on the appellants", while the decision to grant consent "does not recognise and provide for the relationship of the appellants and their culture and traditions with their ancestral lands, water, sites, wāhi tapu, and other taonga".

Ngai Tahu is seeking to have the decision overturned in full, because the granting of the resource consent "results in uncertainty over potential benefits and mahinga kai opportunities for Te Rūnanga o Arowhenua, and for the ongoing involvement of Te Rūnanga o Arowhenua regarding the use of the water resource".

Good. The purpose of a WCO is to protect a river. But ECan seems to have ignored it in order to enable further pillage by greedy farmers. And the result will be not just an interruption of natural flows, but also more piss and more shit poisoning Canterbury's water.