Better public access to new Waimea Dam

Lee Valley Waimea River

07/11/2018 9:47am

Good work by our Regional Field Officer Penny Wardle means that people will have better public access to the proposed Waimea Dam in the Lee Valley.

Penny Wardle wrote a Walking Access Commission submission to Parliament. The submission responded to a bill which enables the local council to build the proposed Waimea Dam.

The Tasman District Council (Waimea Water Augmentation Scheme) Bill enables the district council to build the dam. It transfers 1.4 hectares of Crown land to the council. It also gives the council an easement to flood 9.7 hectares of conservation land.

The Walking Access Commission, Fish and Game and the Federated Mountain Clubs of New Zealand, all made submissions about public access to the land. These submissions did not oppose the bill, but were seeking improved access provisions.

Parliament’s Governance and Administration Committee said that these three submissions caused it to amend the bill in favour of greater public access.

“In response to these submissions, we recommended a change of wording to the easement provisions in the bill over the areas of conservation and to reverse the presumption in favour of public access, except in the interests of public safety. We also welcomed the letter we received from the Tasman District Council dated 23 October 2018, that commits the council to a process with Fish and Game, the Walking Access Commission, and mountain biking interests to consider further improvements in public access on the areas of land beyond the scope of the bill.”

The bill now returns from the select committee to Parliament for a vote, before it can become law.

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Photo credit: William Patterson at Google Photos

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