Existing irrigators and Ngai Tahu have appealed the consent granted to the Meridian Energy-South Canterbury Irrigation Trust Hunter Downs irrigation scheme by Environment Canterbury.
Existing irrigators are concerned that the amount of water the Hunter Downs scheme is permitted to use would impact negatively on their supply .
Reliability of supply was one of the factors taken into account when designing existing irrigation schemes and the farming operations which rely on them. Any threat to that is a threat to the 100% reliability, for which consent was given, is a threat to all the businesses which use the water.
One of Ngai Tahu’s problems is that the scheme would take water from one catchment and put it in another although that doesn’t always mean they’ll object.
The North Otago Irrigation Company scheme which takes water fromt he Waitaki river and discharges it into the Waiareka Creek which eventually flows into the Kakanui river.
Ngai Tahu agreed to that and I think that’s because the creek was little more than a series of semi stagnant ponds most of the time. The discharge from the Waitaki got the creek flowing again, improving both the quantity and quality of the water.