Council decides bottling Waihou River requires iwi consent

  • 17/08/2017

An application to pump water from a Waikato spring for bottling will require consent from Raukawa iwi, the Waikato District Council (WDC) has decided.

Pure Blue applied to take nearly 7 million litres from the Waihou River every day, but Raukawa told WDC taking water from the stream diminishes its "mauri, wairuia and mana".

If the bottling company cannot provide written consent by October 16, the council will decide whether the application will require notification of affected parties or the public.

Save Our Water coordinator Rick Tindell says the WDC decision highlights the need for a national water policy.

"You find that with a lot of these big issues that they are waiting for national policy statements to give guidance to regional councils," Mr Tindell told Newshub.

He said the WDC made the right decision ruling the company required written consent from iwi if it wished to avoid a non-notified consent process.

"If ownership of water is possible - [and] the status quo is it's not owned by anybody - but if it's ownership is going to be managed at all and profits are going to be made from water, then tangata whenua have to be considered."