Rally to send message against water conservation order

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

A rally is planned for the 19th of this month against a Water Conservation Order on the Clive and Ngaruroro River in Hawke's Bay. An order would impose restrictions on the water takes, raising concerns over major job losses. 

"If the order is granted the way it is, we won't have any option but to stop investing in our land. Which would mean catastrophic job losses in the Hawke's Bay," says Jerf Van Beek, spokesman for the Twyford Irrigators Group.

Five different parties have lodged an application for a Water Conservation Order, seeking protection of the mauri of the rivers.

"We don't agree to that, although the river that we are dealing with, the Ngaruroro is a beautiful river. It's in very good condition and the TANK process that I'm involved in has indicated that this river is in very good condition but there is room for improvement," says Van Beek.

TANK is the consultative process that looks after land and water in Hawke's Bay but, Van Beek says, the drastic reduction in consented water use from those two rivers will hurt consumers.

"We believe, especially produce that is being eaten in New Zealand and brought to Auckland and Wellington and the bigger cities will have to go up in price if we would be able to continue to grow. However as it stands we don't think we can."

Hundreds are expected to march against the order, with tractors and other heavy machinery expected to make an appearance as well. The rally will begin at the Hastings Showgrounds and ending in Clive.