Watercare’s Waikato River water take hearing deferred for a week
05 October 2021
A hearing on an application to draw an additional 150 million litres of water a day from the Waikato River for Auckland City’s water supply network has been postponed due to the COVID-19 alert level change for parts of Waikato.
The hearing is now due to begin on Monday 11 October. The order of appearances will largely follow what had previously been scheduled for the two-week hearing.
Due to previous COVID-19 restrictions in August, the hearing had been rescheduled to start this week, on Tuesday 5 October. Sunday’s announcement in the change in alert levels in some parts of the Waikato has again postponed the hearing.
Should the alert levels not allow the hearing to take place in person, the hearing will be conducted virtually during the week of Monday 11 to Friday 15 October. The Board will consider options for the second week if required.
In June last year, the Minister for the Environment “called in” the application, deeming it to be a proposal of national significance under the Resource Management Act 1991 and referring it to a Board of Inquiry for decision.
The applicant, Watercare Services Limited, is an Auckland Council organisation and the application is for municipal water supply purposes.
It seeks resource consents associated with the construction, operation and maintenance of a new water intake and new discharge structure on the bed of the Waikato River. It also includes the taking of surface water using that intake, and discharges of water, air and river material into the Waikato River adjacent to the site of Watercare’s existing Water Treatment Plant near Tuakau.
The Environmental Protection Authority’s role in the process
The EPA provides administrative support services to the Board of Inquiry. This ranges from managing the public consultation, and organising the logistics of the hearing, to commissioning specialist advice to assist the Board.