4 February, 2013
ECan Rakaia River recommendation accepted
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Government has accepted Environment Canterbury’s recommendation to change the water conservation order that covers the Rakaia River.
The change will allow TrustPower to release water from Lake Coleridge for irrigation when the river is low, increasing the reliability of the water supply.
“Environment Canterbury’s report and recommendation is a good example of both environmental considerations and the needs of the farming community being taken into account,” Mr Brownlee says.
Electricity generator TrustPower applied to the Minister for the Environment to change the National Water Conservation (Rakaia River) Order 1988. The application was referred to Environment Canterbury, which ran a full public hearing process and has since adopted the recommendations of their Hearing Committee.
Environment Canterbury’s report concluded that TrustPower’s proposed amendment will “continue to preserve and protect the outstanding natural characteristics, habitats and features of the Rakaia River.”
“I appreciate the work done by ECan and the hearing committee in running such a thorough hearings process,” Mr Brownlee says.
“TrustPower will now be able to take water from the Rakaia in accordance with the amended Conservation Order.
“They will also be able to apply for resource consent to construct a canal from Lake Coleridge to join up with the Central Plains irrigation scheme, which has already been consented.”