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HBRC voted to publically notify future water bottling consents

The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has today voted to require all future water bottling consent applications be publically notified and heard in an open and public way.

Up until now any water bottling resource consent applications lodged with the Council were not required to be publically notified unless they were deemed to have a “more than minor” effect on the environment. The change means ALL water bottling resource consent applications will now be notified to the public.

The Council’s decision is in response to community concern around water bottling in Hawke’s Bay. Council staff presented a report to today’s meeting outlining four options for Councillors to consider.
They were:
1. Retaining the status quo and making no change to the notification process
2. Adopting a policy so all water bottling consents are publically notified
3. Calling in the delegation for notification decision making for water bottling consents and establish a process through the Hearings Committee to manage notification decision making.
4. Make a change to the Regional Resource Management Plan requiring public notification of new consents and changes to existing water bottling consents.

The Council voted 7-1 to adopt Option 2 which sees HBRC adopting a new policy that will see all resource consent applications for water bottling trigger special circumstances and therefore be publically notified. The special circumstances in this case are that there is significant concern within the community at allowing takes for water bottling.

It also agreed on a definition for water bottling as “taking and using water for bottling in bottles, bladders or other containers for human consumption where bore water makes up at least 90% of the content of the container”.

14 December 2016

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