Horowhenua Chronicle

Irrigation consent issues

- Finn Williams

A Horizons regional councillor says irrigation applicatio­n consents that have been delayed for up to three years are unacceptab­le.

Councillor David Cotton said he was hoping for changes to be made to the current applicatio­n process for water irrigation consent.

“Currently the system is broken,” he said.

Horizons has to consult with local iwi on all irrigation consents they receive for any river or stream in the area Whanganui iwi cover.

This is part of the Te Awa Tupua regulatory framework, which was created to give Whanganui iwi better control over what happens in the river.

However, Cotton said he believed the regulation­s had put too much of the workload on granting consent to iwi workers.

He said this was hurting both iwi and local businesses and farmers, as he thinks some of the work assigned to iwi was out of the scope of their operations, which was causing delays in the consent process.

As a result, many businesses and iwi had been left confused and struggling with what to do, Cotton said.

He wants to negotiate with iwi on criteria that matter to them culturally and environmen­tally and allow Horizons to grant those consents if they meet those criteria.

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