Trust appeals consents
Doubt about future of Arapuni Milk
Doubt has been cast over the future of the planned milk powder factory at Arapuni.
Ngati Koroki Kahukura Trust has appealed the resource consents granted by Environment Waikato and South Waikato District Council.
South Waikato District Mayor Neil Sinclair said the appeal could result in the factory’s backers Arapuni Milk Ltd pulling out.
Mr Sinclair acknowledged the trust had ‘‘ a democratic right’’ to appeal but said that could cost the South Waikato employment opportunities. The plant would bring about 70 full-time jobs to Arapuni as well as work during construction.
‘‘The appeal process is a lengthy one and can take up to a year to resolve,’’ he said.
‘‘I understand that the milk fac- tory was already under a tight construction time line and the appeal process simply would mean that the factory would not be ready for production in the spring of 2011 (as planned).
‘‘As mayor I am sorry that there could be movement away from the Arapuni site.’’
In the appeal lodged with the district council, NKK trustee Steven Wilson listed 10 reasons for the iwi’s appeal, including that changes in personnel at Arapuni Milk had made negotiations difficult and the trust did not feel it had been adequately consulted.
‘‘Our view is that the decision has not recognised and provided for our culture and traditions and our relationship with our ancestral lands, water etc,’’ he wrote.
The appeal claims the 45m tall dairy factory would be visible from one of the iwi’s marae across the Waikato River.
‘‘This is not something that we as a tribe have had to deal with before and our marae are renowned for their quiet, peaceful ambience,’’ the appeal said.
Mr Wilson also noted concerns over increased traffic volumes, disturbance during construction and potential future consent applications to draw water for the plant from a bore.