Ngā kaupapa: Business, Environment

Petition hopes to axe Blue Springs’ proposal

Heeni Brown
  • Waikato/Te Waiariki

Over 39,000 people have signed a petition urging the Waikato Regional Council to reject an application for water extraction from the Putaruru Blue Springs in the Waihou river.

ActionStation and SomeOfUs hope to gather 50,000 signatures to oppose NZ Pure Blue Springs' current application to take water from Waihou River's Blue Springs.

Spokesperson for ActionStation Marianne Elliott says, "The hope would obviously be that the Council would take that seriously and see that there's lot of concern around this and that would really make them think twice about issuing the permit."

Coca-Cola Amatil is the largest consent holder. The company extracts around 200,000 litres a day from the Waihou river.

Waikato Regional Council is considering NZ Pure Blue Springs Limited's proposal to take up to 6.9 million litres a day from the Waihou river's Blue Springs.

NZ Pure Blue's application also outlines plans to build a major water bottling facility in the area. The company says the project will provide around 500 full time jobs.

"People have concerns about fairness. They don't think its fair that big companies can extract you know vast ammounts of water 6.9 million litres a day at little or no cost and with really no benefit from that going back into the community. Obviously they do talk about creating jobs and economic benefit but the longer term and the longer term what matters more is the access to water."

In a statement to Te Kāea, the Waikato Regional Council says at this stage they are not sure when a decision will be made on NZ Pure Blue Springs application.

If the petition reaches 50,000 signatures it will be presented to the Regional Council.