Time is running out to make a submission to protect Hawke’s Bay’s Ngaruroro River
- Richie Cosgrove
The clock is ticking for New Zealanders wanting to ensure Hawkes Bay’s Ngaruroro and Clive Rivers are protected by a rarely-issued Water Conservation Order.
A Special Tribunal appointed by the Environment Minister is now considering whether to grant such an order and is calling for the public to make submissions.
The deadline for making a submission is now less than a week away as they must be lodged by 4pm on Thursday 24 August.
Water Conservation Orders give rivers and lakes the equivalent of National Park-type protection. If the Ngaruroro and Clive application is successful, it will be only the 16th of New Zealand’s many waterways to be protected by a WCO.
The application for the Water Conservation Order has been jointly lodged by a group of organisations, including Fish & Game, Ngati Hori ki Kohupatiki, Forest & Bird, Whitewater NZ and Jet Boating NZ.
Fish & Game New Zealand’s Chief Executive Bryce Johnson is encouraging all New Zealanders to have their say.
“The Ngaruroro and Clive Rivers are wonderful waterways and deserve protection. They have many truly outstanding values and having a Water Conservation Order will ensure they are both protected for the sake of the environment and the public’s enjoyment now and generations to come,” says Mr Johnson.
“With less than a week to go before submissions close, I urge everyone to make an effort to tell the commission they want a Water Conservation Order.
“The process is straightforward – just go to the Environmental Protection Authority website and make your submission online,” Mr Johnson says.
The Ngaruroro River rises high in the remote Kaimanawa Ranges, emerging onto the Heretaunga plains at Whanawhana before flowing through Hawke’s Bay into the Pacific Ocean at Clive, just south of Napier.
If approved as the applicants are asking, the Water Conservation Order would cover the entire Ngaruroro River, including its tributaries and connected groundwater, and seven kilometres of the Clive River and its connected groundwater.
Once the submissions are considered, the Special Tribunal will then hold a hearing and write a report, including a recommendation on whether to grant the Water Conservation Order.
The final decision will be made by the Environment Minister.
Anyone wanting to make a submission can do so on the Environmental Protection Authority website www.epa.govt.nz/ngaruroro