From MATTHEW LITTLEWOOD - The Timaru Herald via Stuff
"Ngai Tahu says the science in support of widescale irrigation proposals in the Upper Waitaki is "patchy".
Hearings considering more than 126 consent applications to take water in the Mackenzie Basin and Upper Waitaki, covering more than 27,000 hectares of land, will resume in Christchurch from January 25 until March 9.
Legal adviser Paul Horgan's submission documents released yesterday said Ngai Tahu was "alarmed" by the scale and intensity of the Southdown Holdings, Five Rivers, Killermont Stations, Simons Hill, Simons Pass and the two Rosehip applications.
"Ngai Tahu considers that the science presented in support of the proposals is patchy and that there is a raft of uncertainties surrounding the actual and potential effects, especially those upon cultural values," he said.
"Unfortunately, we are led to the view that what the applicants are seeking is that a suck-it-and-see approach be adopted.
"For Ngai Tahu, its enduring relationship with the Upper Waitaki is too sacred for such a cavalier approach to be justified."
Ngai Tahu will speak at the hearings on January 25, but it is understood that the submission will provide the bulk of its evidence.
Mr Horgan's submission said although many of the smaller consents would not pose significant environmental or cultural risk to the area, it felt many of the larger applicants had failed to properly assess the science.
He claimed that the applicants have only measured water quality in the two arms of Lake Benmore, once in January 2008 and again in April 2008. He was also concerned about the accuracy of the sampling.
Ngai Tahu cultural adviser Mandy Waaka-Home's submission said she was not convinced the larger consent holders would be able to operate in a "benign manner".
"We do not believe we should have to suffer the indignity of gathering and eating food from an environment that is knowingly polluted. There is no dignity in that.""Remember this is what they want to do
"Three companies: Five Rivers Ltd, Southdown Holdings Ltd and Williamson Holdings Ltd have lodged consents applications with Environment Canterbury to allow 17,850 dairy cows to be housed in large sheds around the clock from March to October and for 12 hours a day for the rest of the year.
Waitaki District Council gave the proposals land use consent without public notification, but ECan has received more than 4000 submissions against them."We will stop this development, and then we will stop the next one and the one after that too. They don't stack up or make sense - they are mono-cultural exercises in greed.