Rich Russian uses 60,000 litres of NZ water a day to keep his lawn looking nice

The lodge in Helena Bay.
The lodge in Helena Bay. Photo credit: Supplied

How much water does it take to keep a lawn fresh? If you're a Russian oligarch, it's 60,000 litres a day.

Alexander Abramov has been granted consent to pull that much from a stream near his luxury lodge in Helena Bay, north of Whangarei, Fairfax reports.

He says it's needed to show off New Zealand's clean and green credentials to wealthy visitors, but local Maori and the Greens are unhappy.

"Personally, I do not think a billionaire with a flash resort is more important than sustainability. Ever," MP Catherine Delahunty told Fairfax.

Mr Abramov said the 60,000 litres was only 3 percent of the stream's daily minimum flow, and it has no history of running dry.

The consent was non-notified, which means the Northland Regional Council granted it without consulting the public.

It would take 42 times as much water to fill an Olympic swimming pool.