Water Allocation – Letter to Editor

Christine Scott makes a valid point about our aquifers, they are an issue that needs to be discussed (Rally airs water consent fears 25/5/15). What is disappointing is that it takes 120 citizens to attend a rally before any public comment is made by our elected representatives. I would have considered our councillors to be leaders, not followers on this issue.

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To my mind for the Hawke’s Bay to be able to deal with the allocation of water from the Heretaunga aquifer in a rational manner we need to have a strategy. How much allocation is too much? Should local users be given preferential treatment? Should non polluting industries be preferred over polluting industries? Who knows. But having our water being allocated on a first come first serve basis and imagining that the market will find the best use for it, which is what happens at present, is dangerous (Iain Maxwell: Facts inform water debate 25/4/15).

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No doubt HBRC will argue that these are issues being dealt with by the TANK group. But who decided upon the make up of the TANK group? Are the participants diverse enough to satisfy community demands? I don’t know. What I do know is that the TANK group has stalled awaiting further science on the Heretaunga aquifer. This is because the aquifer report they have been asked to use was produced in 1997 and it clearly states that even then the aquifer was essentially over allocated. So how is it that HBRC has continued to issue consents from the aquifer?

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As for Chairman Wilson claiming that the rally was lied too, perhaps he could enlighten me as to what mistruths or non-facts were told given that I was in attendance and he wasn’t. Wilson’s response is shoots the messenger and not the message and is indicative of the very low manner in which he is willing to stoop to discredit his opponents. He does himself a disservice by doing so and I believe brings his position into disrepute.

Published 28/5/15

(Facts on Water issue needed 25/5/15)

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