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Have your say on an application on the Ngaruroro and Clive rivers

​A Special Tribunal set up to consider an application for a water conservation order for the Ngaruroro and Clive rivers, in Hawke’s Bay is calling for submissions. 

Water conservation orders are designed to recognise and sustain the outstanding values of specific rivers, lakes, or other bodies of water.

There are 15 Water Conservation Orders already in force in New Zealand, but if granted, this would be the first new water conservation order in about a decade.

The New Zealand Fish and Game Council, the Hawke’s Bay Fish and Game Council, Ngāti Hori ki Kohupatiki, Whitewater New Zealand, Jet Boating New Zealand, and the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand have jointly applied to the Minister for the Environment for this new water conservation order.

If approved as sought, the water conservation order would cover the entire Ngaruroro River, including its tributaries and connected groundwater, and seven kilometres of the Clive River and its connected groundwater.

A Special Tribunal will consider all submissions 

The Minister for the Environment, Nick Smith, has appointed a five-person Special Tribunal to consider this application for a water conservation order.

The Special Tribunal will hold a hearing, probably in November 2017, and will then prepare a report, including a recommendation on the application.

The report will be sent to the Minister for the Environment, who will make the final decision on the application.

Applicants and submitters can make submissions to the Environment Court on the report of the Special Tribunal.

If the Minister declines the Special Tribunal or Environment Court’s recommendation, the Minister must give written reasons for this decision to the House of Representatives, the applicants and any submitters.

The tribunal members are: Richard Fowler (chair), Alec Neill, Dr Roger Maaka, Dr Ngaire Phillips, and John McCliskie. 

You can take part in this process

Anyone who wants to is welcome to have a say on this application. 

People now have 20 working days to make a submission. 

Submissions close at 4:00pm Friday 24 of August 2017. 

The Environmental Protection Authority’s role

We are responsible for administering this process, and supporting the Special Tribunal.

We are not involved in making a decision or a recommendation.

We’ll make sure that everyone who wants to is able to make a submission, and has the information they need to participate in this important public process.

We’ll also support the Special Tribunal to hold a hearing, and communicate their report to all submitters. 

We’ve set up a toll-free phone line to give people one-on-one support: 0800 777 501.

People can also email WCO.Ngaruroro@epa.govt.nz, or check the information on our website: www.epa.govt.nz/​ngaruroro​

Learn more about water conservation orders

A water conservation order can impose restrictions or prohibitions on the exercise of regional councils’ powers as they relate to water.

A regional policy statement, regional plan and district plan cannot be inconsistent with a water conservation order

The rules for water conservation orders are set out in the Resource Management Act (1991).

The Ministry for the Environment has information about how water conservation orders work, and which ones are in force already, on its website.

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