Log In

Reset Password

Landowner applies for irrigation rights from Pakarae River

AN application to take and use water from the Pakarae River that would see 47 litres a second taken at a maximum of 3384 cubic litres litres a day was heard by Gisborne District Council’s hearings committee yesterday.

The application by land owner M.B. Reeves would see a maximum of 71,064 litres a year taken from the river for irrigation.

Mr Reeves said it involved 220 hectares, which was about 20 percent of the catchment of the Pakarae River. They were one of the last properties on the river so it would not have much affect on upstream properties.

They wanted a safeguard from some of the extreme weather patterns that had been happening. It was originally for a larger area but they had reduced it dramatically.

It was a chicken and egg situation. They needed to secure the water before they could start putting dams in. Submitter Laurie Te Nahu said he did not want to hinder any development but had some questions.

Would herbicides or pesticides be used on the property? Would there be a monitoring regime to ensure the quality of the water that was returned to the river? Could the right be on-sold? There must be a difference from its take to the point further on where it was returned.

He wanted to ensure the quality of the water returned was able to be consumed by humans or animals.

Water and coastal resources officer Sarah Thompson said this sort of application was not unusual. She had attached 19 conditions to the recommendation to grant the consent. One of these would require a water meter. It would be unusual to monitor the water quality for this type of permit.

Any change of ownership would require a resource consent. The committee retired to consider its decision.