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Stage one of the Water Conservation Order hearing to begin

7 November 2017

Stage One of the Water Conservation Order (WCO) hearing for the Ngaruroro and Clive Rivers is underway at the Napier Conference Centre. This stage relates to the upper Ngaruroro River above the Whanawhana cableway.

Water Conservation Orders recognise the outstanding amenity or intrinsic values of a body of water and can be applied over rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, wetlands or aquifers and over freshwater or geothermal water. Rules for WCOs are set out in the Resource Management Act (1991).

There are currently 15 WCO’s in force in New Zealand. If granted, the Ngaruroro and Clive Rivers WCO would be the first for around 10 years. 

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 the order.

What we do:

The EPA is responsible for administering the WCO hearing process, supporting the Special Tribunal throughout the hearing, and communicating its report to all submitters. We are not involved in making a decision or a recommendation. The Special Tribunal will make a recommendation to the Minister for the Environment who will make the final decision. They will not make this recommendation until the Stage two hearing (anticipated to be held mid-2018) has finished. 

Information, help and guidance about the process is available via:

For more information:

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