20 May 2011

Emotions run high over Canterbury river plan

10:40 pm on 20 May 2011

Members of a committee set up to report on future management of two Canterbury rivers have been accused of ignoring recreational and environmental interests.

The recommendations of a Hurunui-Waiau zone committee have been presented to a public meeting at Avonhead in Christchurch.

They include a contentious plan for an irrigation dam on the south branch of the Hurunui River.

Graeme Boddy, who has used the Hurunui for recreation since the 1960s, says the committee comprised many farmers and no recreational interests.

A spokesperson for the Forest and Bird Society, Chris Todd, says the Hurunui Water Project's proposed south branch dam did not meet environmental standards 10 years ago - and still would not today.

Committee members revealed they had been unable to reach consensus on the dam proposal.