Green light for controversial West Coast water-bottling operation

The operation will pump 800 million litres of water from Mt Aspiring National Park onto boats to be shipped overseas.
JOANNE CARROLL/FAIRFAX NZ

The operation will pump 800 million litres of water from Mt Aspiring National Park onto boats to be shipped overseas.

A controversial West Coast water-bottling operation can go ahead, after being awarded awarded final resource consents.

Okuru Enterprises can now start construction on a pipeline and 14-hectare water storage facility at Jackson Bay, south of Haast, after the West Coast Regional Council granted the last permits for a controversial bottling operation.

The facility will pump 800 million litres of water each month.

Okuru Enterprises was allowed to occupy space in the Coastal Marine Area at Neils Beach, in Jackson Bay, to construct a pipeline and mono-buoy off Jackson Head.

READ MORE:
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The consent also allowed Okuru to "alter the foreshore or seabed" to build those structures.

Millions of litres of water would be pumped offshore from a West Coast national park, with little regard for environmental impacts, the Green Party claimed.

The party's environment spokeswoman Eugenie Sage said the council's decision to grant the company resource consent for the project was "a new low".

"The council's role is to diligently assess the impacts and they've failed to do that," she said.

"The council has failed to look at the potential impacts on a number of threatened species, from Haast kiwi, Fiordland crested penguin and Hector's dolphins."

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The council granted resource consent on May 3, a decision Sage said should have been made public.

"It's been a secretive process from start to finish.

"It's our water and our wildlife that are potentially affected and yet the council pushed this through, in secret, behind closed doors, with no opportunity for the public to make submissions."

 - Stuff

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