Wairau River Threat Defeated

TrustPower’s recent decision to not renew its resource consent application for a hydro-electricity scheme for the Wairau River has been applauded by the NZ Federation of Freshwater Anglers (NZFFA).

 NZFFA secretary David Haynes of Nelson said the “virtual victory” had come after twenty years of public opposition and over $1 million spent by Fish and Game and a lobby group Save the Wairau.

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 “Congratulations to Save the Wairau for their tenacity, imagination and toughness to stand up to what would have been a highly ecologically destructive scheme,” he said. “Nelson Marlborough Fish and Game are also to be congratulated.”

The now abandoned scheme by TrustPower, sought to take two thirds of the river’s flow and divert it along a 47km canal by-passing a public river known for its quality trout and salmon angling as well as unique wildlife values.

The resource consent expired this winter and TrustPower sought to have it extended, arguing they had undertaken sufficient work on the scheme to allow for such an extension.  However, Marlborough District Council deemed otherwise and pointed out that none of the consent conditions required prior to any construction had been done.

 “It’s a win for the environment and the public interest over a short-sighted commercial exploitation,” said David Haynes. – Tony Orman

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