Concerns have been raised by some Jackson Bay locals,
Heritage New Zealand, Forest & Bird and water conservation advocates.
‘‘This is a community resource that’s owned by all New Zealanders, coming out of a national park, and a select few are going to profit from that,’’ said
Jen Branje of the NZ Water Forum, a group promoting sustainable water use.
‘‘People go to Haast to be decimated by sand flies and see the view, they don’t want to see giant ships out in the bay waiting to suck our water away.’’
She said those who took water should be required to pay for it, with the money used to fund projects such as infrastructure upgrades.
Because of the time taken to get the consents, some had expired and had to be reapproved. The reapproval of water take consents late last year was not publicly notified by the West Coast Regional Council.
Forest & Bird Canterbury West Coast conservation manager Jen Miller said it was concerning such a large project was not publicly notified and the group would be following up.
She said part of the pipeline would run through the conservation estate and through habitat of the Haast brown kiwi, the rarest kiwi sub-species. It has a population of about 400 and is classed as nationally critical by DOC.
The consent application said the company would work with DOC to create a kiwi protection plan and that it was unlikely any kiwi were at risk.
Hearings are set to take place in Westland next month.