A proposal to expand the Otakiri Springs water bottling plant in eastern Bay of Plenty has today been granted consent by an independent hearing panel. Independent commissioners Rob van Voorthuysen and Antoine Coffin were appointed to hear and determine the resource consent applications on behalf of Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Whakatāne District Council.
The applications lodged with Regional Council sought to authorise the increased abstraction of groundwater from the Awaiti Canal groundwater catchment for water bottling, from 1,358m3 per day to 5,000m3 per day, earthworks, and stormwater and wastewater discharges.
Consents Manager Reuben Fraser says the application was publicly notified and went through a robust process.
“The consent process is about assessing the effects of the proposal. All relevant effects were considered including the capacity of the aquifer to sustain the take, cultural implications, and the positive effects of additional jobs,” says Mr Fraser.
“The job of the commissioners was to review the proposal and all the supporting information in relation to the Resource Management Act and other planning documents, including the Regional Policy Statement and regional plans. Legally the commissioners cannot consider matters outside of this legislation like whether a royalty is being paid, the end location of the product or ethnicity of the parent company,” he says.
“We’re satisfied with the outcome and that the conditions associated with the consents put sufficient controls in place to ensure the water resource is sustainably managed and any impact to the environment is appropriately avoided, remedied, or mitigated,” he says.
Conditions associated with the consents include a maximum annual volume of water take, conservative discharge standards, on-site stormwater attenuation, and comprehensive monitoring and reporting.
Submitters wishing to appeal the decision must lodge that appeal within 15 working days of receiving the decision. The right to appeal is restricted to submitters on the applications, and the applicant.
To access a copy of the report or to view a copy of the conditions please click here.