The Special Tribunal Applicants
Submission on an Application to the Minister for the Environment for a Water Conservation Order on the Ngaruroro River and Clive River pursuant to Section 201(1) of the resource Management Act 1991
Rural Women New Zealand
Address for Service:
Level 5, technology One House
86 Victoria Street, Wellington 6011
RWNZ wishes to be heard in support of this submission.
Background of Submitter
Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) is a not-for-profit, member-based organisation that reaches into all rural communities and has an authoritative voice on rural environment, health, education and social issues. RWNZ strives to ensure that all rural people have equitable access to services, inequalities are addressed by Government, and the wellbeing of rural communities is considered from the beginning of all policy and legislative development.
Decision sought by submitter from the Tribunal
RWNZ opposes aspects of the application for the Order that propose to limit the take of water from the lower River, in particular below Whanawhana. Consistent with other applications submitted (eg: Irrigation NZ, HB Fruitgrowers, and Horticulture NZ) we oppose the application applying to connected groundwater of the Ngaruroro River and consider that the applicants have not defined the nature or extent of the groundwater they propose to be covered by the Order.
Impact on cultural values relating to the production of food, fibre, and wine
Should the Tribunal determine that the application is appropriate for the lower River, we oppose the range of controls and prohibitions suggested within the draft Order for the stretch below Whanawhana Cableway. We propose that an alternative range of controls, limits and restrictions be considered that are enabling of food, fibre and wine production values.
We consider that food, wine and fibre production are values that are integral to the cultural identity and economic wellbeing of the local communities and any revised Water Conservation Order should consider the protection of those values because they are outstanding, both nationally and regionally.
The need to take into account impacts on rural families and communities
We note that the Applicants have failed to consider the needs of rural families and communities who derive their livelihood from primary and secondary production. The region is a food producing region and many rural families and communities are dependent on and involved in the primary and secondary production industries in some way.
It is apparent to us that the applicants have not given due consideration to the downstream consequences of reducing the ability for producers of food, fibre and wine to have access to the necessary water to grow their crops. We need to ensure that crops are viable and the irrigation of the crops is fundamental to that viability, especially in low rainfall seasons.
RWNZ recognises that it is sometimes difficult to balance the environmental interests and the interests of recreation users and growers and producers. We submit that the interest of people who derive a living from the land and the communities that derive their living from the production and manufacture of primary produce must be fairly factored into the equation.
Should the application be approved as submitted it would have the effect of disadvantaging the economic welfare of both the producers of wine and food and the other local businesses that derive their income form the revenue generated by the producers.
If you have any questions, please contact me directly.
Chief Executive Officer
National President, Fiona Gower
National Chair, Penny Mudford
Categorised in: Environment