Poroti locals’ hopeful consent for water bottling plant will lapse

By Dean Nathan
  • Northland

Poroti locals have welcomed the news that consent to build a water bottling plant in their community will lapse this weekend.  

While Zodiac Holdings Limited is licenced to take up to 2.5 million litres of water per day from the Poroti Springs for commercial sale in China, the Whangarei District Council has confirmed that it won't be renewing the companies’ 15-year-old resource consent to build.

The Media Relations Advisor for council Anne Midson says,  "The consent to build the factory to process the water lapses on Saturday.  We haven't received a new application and if we do receive a new application everything starts again from there."

Milan Ruka the spokesperson for the hapu of Poroti says it's good news, "We anticipate that they won't renew but we're not too sure.  They certainly haven't at this present moment in time and if they have to go through that new process then we'll be able to participate again because it will be a public consent application."

Only yesterday the Waitangi Tribunal announced that it will hear the second stage of water claims with the New Zealand Maori Council indicating that the Poroti Springs case is one of the leading examples of Maori claims to the resource.

And while the hapu of Poroti maintain they have customary rights to the springs, ownership of the resource is still yet to be determined with the recent release of a 470-page report by Paul Haney into the history of the springs.

Milan Ruka says, " It was surveyed in 1895 as our water supply re-ratified in 1960 in the government gazette as our water supply for our three hapu and yet we're not included in any of the process."