Council supports Moa process

PENNY WARDLE
Last updated 07:13 01/07/2013

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Brewing company Moa is not the only operator expanding well beyond the scale of its resource consent, says Marlborough District Council regulatory officer Hans Versteegh.

A hearing of the Rapaura brewery's application to expand production at its Jacksons Rd site last week revealed the company was already brewing well beyond its resource consent and using more water than permitted.

Mr Versteegh said Marlborough wineries often unintentionally processed more wine than their consent allowed.

"Everyone can pick on Moa but people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones," he said of objectors who complained at the hearing that the company was operating illegally.

Moa managers were probably unaware the brewery was making more beer than the consent allowed until told by council officers on regular visits to check compliance, Mr Versteegh said.

"No-one counts trucks in and out, or bottles, on a daily basis."

The company responded by applying for retrospective consent for its existing 1 million litre production and to brew an extra 11 million litres.

Bringing consents into line was not unusual for a company like Moa growing from being a pioneer to a fully commercial business, Mr Versteegh said. Big corporate companies such as Delegat's Wine Estate and Pernod Ricard reported compliance back to boards so were very careful to meet consent conditions.

The council had about 27,000 consents on its database and non-compliance was often mopped up after monitoring visits with "retrospective consents".

Mr Versteegh described breaches by Moa as technical rather than environmental. The Moa building had not been expanded since brewing began in 2005 and no extra vats were being used.

Ian Morden, estate director for Cloudy Bay wine company which objected to the Moa expansion, said his company was operating within its resource consent.

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- The Marlborough Express

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