DoC may appeal
The Department of Conservation is considering whether to appeal the decision to allow 17 applicants to take more than two million cubic metres of groundwater on the Aupouri Peninsula per annum.
The Northland Regional Council commissioners’ decision is also of concern within the local community. In March We Are Water spokeswoman Karen NikoraKerr said not only was such a large take unnecessary, but potentially risked the continued use of shallow bores and saltwater intrusion into the aquifer.
Local people and environmental groups have also complained of a lack of consultation, and the destruction of archaeological sites, dune systems and other natural features during the applicants’ avocado orchard development.
Fiona Furrell, from the Northland Environmental Protection Society, said the consent amounted to “wait and see if a worst-case scenario occurs, then try to do something about it.” She also claimed that the orchard developments had destroyed an entire dune system, land had been flattened right up to a pa site, and archaeological sites had been “annihilated.”