Environment Minister David Parker has today “called in” Auckland’s application to the Waikato Regional Council to take an extra 200 million litres of water a day from the lower reaches of the Waikato River for Auckland drinking water and other municipal uses.
The call-in means the application has been referred to a Board of Inquiry under Part 6AA of the Resource Management Act 1991.
“The future sources of drinking water for Auckland are a matter of national significance. The application obviously affects Auckland, but also other activities in the Waikato and the river itself,” David Parker said.
‘The Inquiry will need to consider the viability of alternatives, including the treatment of storm and/ or waste water. Water taken for Auckland from the Waikato already includes treated water from outfalls from storm water and treated waste water upstream of its take.
“The Board of Inquiry of three people will be led by a current or retired Environment Court judge.
“I have asked the Waikato River Authority to name an appointee to the Board of Inquiry, which it is entitled to do under section 29(5) of the Waikato-Tainui Raupatu Claims (Waikato River) Settlement Act 2010.”
The Government, Waikato Regional Council and Hamilton City Council have been working with Auckland and other interested parties over several months to help resolve Auckland’s water issues.
Media contact: Vernon Small +64 21 849 517