Panel chosen to consider Water Conservation Order on Te Waikoropupu Springs
A special tribunal has been picked to consider whether Golden Bay's Te Waikoropupu Springs should be protected by a Water Conservation Order.
Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith announced the appointment of a panel of five that will decide on the application for Te Waikoropupu Springs in Golden Bay, and for the aquifer that feeds them.
The five-member panel are; Nelson barrister Camilla Owen, former Tasman District Council chief executive Bob Dickinson, agricultural advisor Lewis Metcalfe, former chief negotiator for the Ngati Rangi Trust Che Wilson and Professor Jon Harding. Harding is the Dean of Postgraduate Research for Stream Ecology at Canterbury University.
"The panel has a strong mix of environmental, legal, water science, local government, tikanga Maori and primary industry knowledge to ensure we get a quality outcome for Golden Bay and New Zealand."
Smith accepted the Water Conservation Order application last month on behalf of the application by iwi Ngati Tama and Golden Bay scientist Andrew Yuill.
A Water Conservation Order is the highest protection possible for a water body, and the equivalent of National Park status. There are 13 rivers and two lakes covered by WCOs, with this being the first application advanced for a springs.
Smith said public submissions on the application would be called in September, with hearings scheduled for later this year.
The special tribunal would then make a recommendation to the Minister for the Environment, which can be appealed to the Environment Court.