25 Nov 2011

Commissioners reject Waitaki water consents

11:41 am on 25 November 2011

A group that opposed irrigation consents for the Upper Waitaki River says members are delighted the applications have been turned down.

Commissioners for the Canterbury Regional Council have released their decision on consents to irrigate more than 5000 hectares in the area.

They approved some land use applications but declined the water consents, saying there would have been adverse effects from the leaching of chemicals into waterways.

Waitaki First chair Helen Brookes says the decision has borne out her group's concerns.

"We opposed the applications from those large consortiums on the grounds of concerns about water quality," she says.

She says the group did not have the level expertise to be able to provide evidence, but it believed water quality would be a huge problem.

However, Dr Brookes says her group does support environmentally sustainable irrigation.

The applicants declined include three farming companies which had wanted to keep dairy cows in sheds but later withdrew those applications.