TrustPower Corporate “Scandalous” Take of Rakaia River Water Questioned

Special Report
TrustPower a NZX corporation, has allegedly been selling water to irrigators outside limits laid down by the 2013 amended Rakaia Water Conservation Order (WCO) says the New Zealand Federation of Freshwater Anglers (NZFFA).
“In addition evidence strongly points to other downstream consent holders abstracting Rakaia River flows beyond their consent limits,” said NZFFA president Dr Peter Trolove.
The incomplete Ecan report records how TrustPower elected to “store” water within the inaccessible part of Lake Coleridge for later sale to contracted irrigation schemes.  
“TrustPower allegedly adopted this method of water budgeting unlawfully and without consent. They clearly did not follow the water harvesting formula proscribed in the amended RWCO.”
Terming it as “ scandalous”, Trolove said a National Water Conservation Order (NWCO) is the river equivalent of a National Park requiring Parliament to make changes or amendments unless the amendments can be shown to be “minor or less than minor”.
It shocked him that the excessive drawoff by the corporate TrustPower and downstream irrigators had been allowed by public agencies meant to be monitoring the WCO conditions, to happen.
“Environment Canterbury, the body who managed the consenting process for the Lake Coleridge Project and the other consents to abstract water from a river with a National Water Conservation Order NWCO has been either negligent, incompetent, complicit, or simply derelict in its duty as legislated in the RMA 1991.” 
No Support
After the RWCO was amended there has been unequivocal evidence that the  recreational fisheries, native fisheries, outstanding landscapes and jet boating have all suffered major or critical environmental effects. 
“These are the key elements the original NWCO Rakaia River 1988 was enacted to protect,” said Trolove.
He also targeted the lack of interest and involvement by the Department of Conservation and the Ministry for the Environment. 
Enquiries to the Minister for the Environment David Parker resulted in no support for rectifying the “scandalous” situation.
Contact: Dr Peter Trolove (03) 324 2779 or 029 779 0295 
, TrustPower Corporate “Scandalous” Take of Rakaia River Water Questioned
<c> Rakaia River – being “de-watered”

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6 Responses to TrustPower Corporate “Scandalous” Take of Rakaia River Water Questioned

  1. Steve Gerard says:

    Thank you Peter, this is unprecedented on a WCO river – more details here

  2. Jimmy Chinook says:

    A Water Conservation Order is akin to a National Park status. So what’s going on?
    It’s public property.
    By the way whatever happened to Labour’s David Parker and Adern’s promise of action to restore rivers?

  3. Nanaia says:

    What’s going to happen when Three Waters starts getting a bit of traction, who will control the water then. Perhaps that’s why the DoC are absent in any constructive dialogue or action they know it’s a waste of time knowing what the future will bring.

  4. "Village Viewpoint" Havelock says:

    Is not Three Waters all about water ownership down the track?
    As for DOC being absent, the department is absent from much conservation issues. Where has DOC been on Water Conservation Orders (WCO) to protect rivers?
    Here in Hawkes Bay, DOC tried to do a deal to facilitate the Tukituki irrigation scheme by bargaining with public property from the public’s Ruahine Forest Park.
    Fish and Game are under review, overseen by DOC. How ironic. DOC should be reviewed before Fish and Game.
    Now where was DOC while TrustPower did its water grab at Coleridge?

  5. Grant Henderson says:

    The Three Waters Plan seems to be concerned more with what comes out of ratepayers’ kitchen taps than safeguarding the national water resource: see

    So in all likelihood the slow and steady degradation of NZ rivers and streams will carry on to provide a subsidy to the rural sector.

  6. "Hares Ear" says:

    Three Waters is being rushed through by government; meanwhile Fish and Game don’t seem to be paying much attention to it. Water ownership and tradable water rights are on the horizon.
    What is elected F&G councillor and national F&G chairman and also leader of the F&G review on behalf of DOC, Ray Grubb doing about Three Waters?
    Seems a mish-mash of conflict of interest?
    Methinks “Nero fiddles while Rome burns?”

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