Iwi are against water proposal
A South Waikato iwi has declined to support the proposal of a New Zealand company to take water from the Blue Springs.
Raukawa will not give written approval for a resource consent application from NZ Pure Blue Springs Ltd.
In June, the bottling company applied for the right to take 6.9 million litres of water per day for export from the Waihou River’s Blue Spring near Putaruru, South Waikato.
The Raukawa decision has come after consultation with marae, hapu and kauma¯ tua, and came after the August 16 decision by the Waikato Regional Council to put the application from NZ Pure Blue Springs Ltd on hold.
‘‘Our marae, uri and kauma¯ tua sent a very clear message that the application and its proposed activity is not wanted in the area. We have received formal letters from marae seeking that we oppose the application. Accordingly, the RST [Raukawa Settlement Trust] board passed a resolution unanimously to not give affected party approval and to oppose the application,’’ Vanessa Eparaima, RST chairwoman, said.
‘‘Raukawa believe that any potential benefits from this application do not outweigh the significant impacts it will have on Te Puna. The conversation around water is a very important one for Raukawa. Water is a taonga that we have a duty to protect for this and future generations.’’
Eparaima said while Raukawa supported and encouraged endeavours which brought value to the region and had potential to bring jobs and economic development, the iwi could not support activities which had potential to impact on the environment and natural taonga.
‘‘We have concerns with the potential impact on water quality, with the levels of water being taken, and concern that as a nation we are not managing water sustainably and acknowledging its importance for all New Zealanders.’’
She said it was disappointing that Raukawa had been criticised by some for fulfilling its responsibilities as kaitiaki.
‘‘We have endured some criticism and unwarranted accusations simply for fulfilling our role as kaitiaki.’’
The regional council said the application has formally been put on hold.