Home' Central Canterbury News : August 22nd 2012 Contents 5
CENTRAL CANTERBURY NEWS, AUGUST 22, 2012
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Valid until 29th August 2012
Water irrigation group head
slams conservation orders
CENTRE OF ATTENTION: The Rakaia River is one of 15 waterways being
highlighted in the campaign.
SEEKING NEW ORDER: Andrew
Curtis, Irrigation NZ chief executive,
says water conservation orders are
''It's time all New
and celebrated how
water adds value . . .
We rely on irrigation to
provide the diverse
range of food we now
demand from our
supermarkets, and at
an affordable price.''
AN IRRIGATION lobby group
claims water conservation orders
(WCOs) have no role in a sustain-
able future for New Zealand, in
light of a move by an amalgam of
groups to celebrate the rivers and
water bodies that have had orders
placed on them, including Lake
Ellesmere and the Rakaia River.
Fish and Game NZ, Forest &
Bird, Environmental Defence
Society, Whitewater NZ, Feder-
ated Mountain Clubs and other
environmental and recreational
groups have teamed up to high-
light the importance of the 15
throughout the country and push
for greater protection.
Irrigation New Zealand chief
executive Andrew Curtis said
WCOs no longer have relevance,
particularly since the develop-
ment of the freshwater manage-
ment national policy statement
that requires communities to set
freshwater objectives and limits.
They have been superseded.
The majority of the group s
members are farmer-irrigators.
Mr Curtis said WCOs should be
Instead of knocking the pro-
ductive use of water for activities
such as irrigation, it s time all
New Zealanders accepted and cel-
ebrated how water adds value.
Permanently locking up its
use through outdated and divisive
processes, such as WCOs, is not
beneficial, not even to the river.
We rely on irrigation to provide
the diverse range of food we now
demand from our supermarkets,
and at an affordable price.
He said the future was about
how we maximise and increase
this investment to ensure New
Zealand s water resource is used
efficiently and sustainably, pro-
viding opportunities for all.
It s not about how we lock up
the water resource through WCOs
and bankrupt the nation.
Water plan runs
ahead of itself
SPECIFIC RULES for the over-
allocated Selwyn-Waihora water
zone are still being worked on --
despite the notification of the pro-
posed Environment Canterbury land
and water plan last week -- and
should be ready next year.
The Selwyn District Council s
default rules came into force on
August 11, but the plan was said to
be one of holding the line until the
zone committees come up with their
own rules for water allocation and
nutrient discharge which would over-
ride the general rules.
The Selwyn-Waihora rules were
signalled by commissioner David
Caygill to be ready in 2013.
The plan is open for public submis-
sions until October 5.
Mr Caygill said there was a lead in
time of 2017, by which time all the
committees had to have their plans
in place. The committees would be
involved in an ongoing process of
looking at how the rules worked.
The plan is intended to oversee
implementation of Canterbury water
Mr Caygill said the plan indicated
new resource consents were unlikely
to be granted in the Selwyn-Waihora
zone, and in water consent transfers
a portion could be surrendered.
The plan also caters for explo-
ration of storage options.
Selwyn-Waihora water zone com-
mittee chairman Pat McEvedy said
farmers would have to work smarter
with the water they had and the new
innovations in industry, which were
already happening, would allow
more efficient use of the resource.
He said the committee considered
as many views as possible when for-
mulating rules, and it was a complex
and challenging process -- with any
decisions having long-term effects.
Green MP Eugenie Sage said the
plan was more accessible, clearer
and easier to read than its prede-
cessor, the National Regional
Resources Plan (NRRP), but it sig-
nalled business as usual, provided
land users consider nutrient man-
This softly, softly approach and
the 2017 lead in time is unlikely to
be enough to stabilise or reverse the
trend of rising nitrate levels in Can-
She said it was disappointing the
plan did not severely restrict or pro-
hibit agricultural intensification --
particularly dairying -- in sensitive
catchments such as Lake Grasmere ,
and take a more precautionary
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