Iwi concerned about water plant expansion
Local iwi have expressed concerns about the resource consents granted to Otakiri Springs bottling plant.
Te Mana o Ngati Rangitihi Trust, on behalf of Ngati Rangitihi, are worried the resource consents could allow the bottling plant to increase their take of groundwater for commercial purposes.
Te Mana Chair Leith Comer says it is disappointing that the Environment Court has declined appeals to put a stop to this proposed expansion, which could see more than 1.1 million cubic metres of water annually, or 5,000 cubic metres a day, taken and bottled by the overseas-owned company.
“This is four times the amount of water already being taken,” says Leith.
“Before any increase is granted, we need greater assurance of the ability of the Awaiti Aquifer to be able to sustain this expansion.”
“It is clear that there is mounting resistance from New Zealanders to the current laws which allow large quantities of our freshwater to be sold off to offshore interests,” says Leith.
“Adding to that, is the overarching issue regarding the negligible returns that Maori are receiving from those taking advantage of our Wai Maori,” says Leith.
The Iwi says it supports the decision of neighbouring iwi Ngati Awa and local residents to appeal this significant issue with the High Court.
“We hope to see a positive and reasonable outcome from this process,” says Leith.
“It is the right of iwi and Aotearoa to challenge decisions like this, which are bound to have negative impacts on the sustainability of our natural resources.”