Watercare’s Waikato River water take hearing deferred
27 August 2021
A Board of Inquiry has deferred its hearing on an application to draw an additional 150 million litres of water a day from the Waikato River for Auckland City’s water supply network.
The hearing was due to begin on 31 August. However, in light of the current COVID-19 restrictions, the Board has today decided to postpone the hearing until the week of 4 October. This follows a joint request from Te Whakakitenga o Waikato and the Waikato River Authority to defer the hearing.
The Board has asked the parties involved to consider the possibility of a virtual hearing in October, should alert levels prohibit an in-person hearing.
In June last year, the Environment Minister “called in” the application, deeming it to be a proposal of national significance under the Resource Management Act 1991 and referring it to a Board of Inquiry for decision.
The applicant, Watercare Services Limited, is an Auckland Council organisation and the application is for municipal water supply purposes.
It seeks resource consents associated with the construction, operation and maintenance of a new water intake and new discharge structure on the bed of the Waikato River. It also includes the taking of surface water using that intake, and discharges of water, air and river material into the Waikato River adjacent to the site of Watercare’s existing Water Treatment Plant near Tuakau.
The Environmental Protection Authority’s role in the process
The EPA provides administrative support services to the Board of Inquiry. This ranges from managing the public consultation, and organising the logistics of the hearing, to commissioning specialist advice to assist the Board.