January 25, 2022
Board split on Watercare Waikato consent
Watercare has been told it must establish an executive committee including tangata whenua to look at options to reduce the volume of water taken and Auckland’s reliance on the Waikato River.
The condition is part of the consents given by a board of inquiry to the Auckland Council-owned organisation to draw an additional 150 million litres of water a day from the Waikato for Auckland’s water supply network.
The consents are 20 years rather than the normal 35, and Waikato Regional Council may review the consents every five years.
The board chaired by Environment Court Chief Judge David Fitzpatrick highlighted the connection between Waikato Tainui and the awa and criticised Watercare’s failure to engage with river iwi.
The consents were given by split decision, with member Nicholas Manukau saying the conditions do not go far enough to satisfy his concerns over Watercare’s failure to engage with tangata whenua.