Some bills 80 times initial quotes

Last updated 05:00 13/09/2012

Relevant offers

Farming

Getting ready to kill the evil weevil Moths, beetles free farm of stock-threatening weed Farmers advised to seek help over mental illness Sustainable farming granted $9.9m funding Inquiry call over farming and water quality rules One salmon farm appeal allowed Grape harvests beat rain $25m Alliance rendering plant up and running Mystery of the solitary silage silo Overseas owners have big plans for landmark farm

South Canterbury farmers are challenging Environment Canterbury over more than $300,000 worth of administration costs they have been charged for water consents.

Some of the bills are 80 times greater than the amount the farmers were initially quoted.

The group of 17 South Canterbury and North Otago consent holders will dispute the administration costs at a hearing in Lincoln on Monday.

The costs were billed to the farmers back in 2010 after they were granted 35-year consents to take water from the Hakataramea River. The farmers had waited more than a decade for the consent decision.

The applicants claim the costs are excessive and differ hugely from the original estimates they were given at the start of the process. The Resource Management Act required the applicants to pay 90 per cent of the cost of processing the consent up front, with the remaining 10 per cent being paid at the end of the process.

It was the remaining 10 per cent that was being disputed. The applicants will argue the remaining charge was well in excess of the original fixed charge.

The Herald understands some of the applicants face bills 80 times that of the original 10 per cent fee.

Some of the applicants disputing the costs include Star Holdings, which operates under the name Lonestar Farms, along with Waitaki Orchards, the Maerewhenua District Water Race Company, the Hakataramea Valley Irrigation Company and Hakataramea Station.

The charges vary between the different applicants but the Herald understands the combined cost the farmers are facing is in excess of $300,000.

One of the applicants, Gerald Hayman of Hakataramea Station, said he received a bill of $46,000 for the renewal of his water consent to irrigate 105 hectares.

Other applicants' bills are more than $60,000.

The regional council is able to recover the costs associated with processing resource consent applications.

Applicants have the right to object to certain components of those charges under the Resource Management Act.

ECan's regulation hearing committee has appointed commissioner Emma Christmas to hear the case.

Ad Feedback

- © Fairfax NZ News

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

Do you think New Zealand should open the door to genetic modification in agriculture?

Yes

No

Vote Result

Related story: GM in NZ on farming leaders' agenda

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content

rural digi editions 4/9

Digital editions

Read our rural publications online