Clutha river con­sul­ta­tion ‘crit­i­cal’

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

An Alexan­dra farmer and for­mer Otago Re­gional Coun­cil­lor is urg­ing all mem­bers of the com­mu­nity to at­tend the first round of con­sul­ta­tion by the Otago Re­gional Coun­cil on the Clutha River.

The ORC is cur­rently advertising min­i­mum flow con­sul­ta­tion for the Clutha River, and Gary Kel­li­her said it was ‘‘ab­so­lutely crit­i­cal’’ those who cur­rently used wa­ter from the Clutha at­tend the early con­sul­ta­tion.

‘‘I per­son­ally do not agree with this river’s min­i­mum flow be­ing con­sid­ered at this time when there are far more im­por­tant lower flow rivers and catch­ments to be worked through. The Lindis is headed for the En­vi­ron­ment Court, and other crit­i­cal catch­ments such as the Cardrona, Manuherikia and Ar­row are at vary­ing stages of the process.

‘‘We are so lucky to have such a large re­source in such an arid area, the fu­ture plan­ning of its use must not be rushed ... Once min­i­mum flows are set it is vir­tu­ally im­pos­si­ble to change them as op­por­tu­ni­ties ap­pear.’’

The con­sul­ta­tion meet­ings are from Novem­ber 22 to the De­cem­ber 5 in Queen­stown, Wanaka, Cromwell, Alexan­dra and Bal­clutha.

SUP­PLIED

John Har­ris dous­ing the pre­cious bar­rels with cool wa­ter at Maori Point Vine­yard.

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