September 03, 2021
Allocate and irrigate best course in Aupouri water battle
Former regional economic development minister Shane Jones says the allocation of water rights to three far north iwi is a major step forward.
Te Aupōuri, Te Rarawa and Ngāi Takoto were among 22 organisations from Awanui to Te Kao who were this week granted consents to tap into the Aupouri aquifer, mainly to irrigate avocado plantations.
Mr Jones says rather than fighting through the courts for water ownership, tribes should go through the statutory allocation processes and invest in water storage and sophisticated irrigation systems to make the best use of the resource.
"It may sound a bit far-fetched for Kaitaia but sadly new regulations are inevitably on their way and there's nothing to stop the iwi of Taitokerau and indeed the far north being on the cutting edge of how you get the best outcomes for a previous resource, water," he says.
Shane Jones says Northland Regional Council is taking a pragmatic approach to the region’s water needs, and he hopes the Department of Conservation won’t slow progress by appealing the consents, as some local staff seem to be pushing for.
Copyright © 2021, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com