An Environment Court hearing is under way on a challenge to a resource consent that allows the Tasman paper mill at Kawerau to discharge effluent into the Tarawera River for 25 years.
Last October, Bay of Plenty Regional Council granted Carter Holt Harvey and Norske Skog permission to take clean water and pump it back laden with chemicals. They were also allowed to create a new landfill site.
Lindsay Marr, Tipene Marr and Te Rangatiratanga O Ngati Rangitihi Inc have brought a case against the council and Whakatane District Council.
They say the 25-year term was too generous and allowed for too many exceptional circumstances.