Otago water bottling consents “insignificant”

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Wanaka Sun (page 1) 23 March 2017 by Glenda Turnbull – email: journalist@thewanakasun.co.nz

The Otago Regional Council (ORC) has briefed its councillors on water consents at its meeting held on Wednesday March 22 after it was revealed two consents had been granted to bottle and export millions of litres of water from Mount Aspiring National Park and the Dart River.

ORC councillor Michael Laws asked for information in an email to the ORC Chairman.

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Michael Laws said, “As a new councillor I was completely unaware of the consent until the news story, and would like to know how many other such consents linger in the ORC files, that have the capacity to embarrass us and run counter to existing or proposed council water policy.”

Two resource consents have been highlighted in recent weeks.

The first, a resource consent applied for in the Westland District Council, is for Okuru Enterprises Limited to construct, maintain and operate a bulk water export facility at Tuning Fork Creek and Jackson Bay/Neils Beach.

The second is for Koha Water Limited to extract 236 million litres of water per year from a unique underground aquifer located in the Dart River Valley consented to by ORC.

Local residents are becoming increasingly vocal about the potential bottling and sale of our water overseas.

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Lake Hawea resident Leeann Morton attended the resource consent hearing for the Okuru application in Haast last Friday March 17 because of her growing concerns over export of New Zealand water.

“I found out about the Okuru application through the Bung the Bore Facebook page. I was amazed that something could get to this stage with so few people knowing about it. I’m not happy that this public resource can be taken by one company to profit from it,” Leeann said.

Leeann said she understood the local people’s point of view wanting to get something sustainable and increase jobs in the area, but there needed to be more consultation with the public.

“It is the process I’m not in favour of. The councils seem to be able to okay these projects because the consents are non-notifiable. The public is kept completely in the dark. That is what has to change.  People need to have a say in what happens,” Leeann said.

ORC consent manager Chris Shaw confirmed in a memorandum there are currently three consents issued for bottling water in Otago.
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The first, issued to JM Love in 1996 gives consent to take 4493 cubic metres per year and is for domestic purposes and irrigation of one hectare.

The second, issued to Green Ocean Group in 1998, gives consent to take 87,600 cubic metres per year and is for small-scale bottling and domestic purposes.

The third is for Koha Water Limited consent issued in 2007.

To date this consent has not been used and will expire in 2019 unless an extension is sought.

The memorandum stated this was a “small water take and equivalent to the water used by a small irrigated farm.”

The memorandum also highlighted that in assessing the Koha Water application the nearest bore to the consent holder’s activity was over one kilometre away.

“The assessment using Schedule 5B of the Regional Plan Water showed that at one kilometre from the proposed take the drawdown effect would be less than one centimetre and therefore the overall effect would be no more than minor.

Consequently the application had to be processed as a non-notified application.

The three consents ORC has issued for bottling water represent 0.15 percent of all takes and 0.05 percent of all consents. This equates to 0.0037 percent of Otago’s water allocation per year,” Chris stated.

The memorandum went on to say “the environmental impact of current water bottling consents in Otago is insignificant and at a level where it would be difficult to measure any adverse effect. It is highly unlikely that any further proposals to bottle water in Otago would have any effect that was more than minor – any such effect could be controlled using the resource consent process.”

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Wanaka Sun | 23 – 29 Mar 2017 | Edition 810

GIVEAWAY! Decode your inner diva

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Wanaka Sun (page 4) 16 March 2017 by Glenda Turnbull – email: journalist@thewanakasun.co.nz

The Holy Family Catholic School is bringing New Zealand diva Lisa O’Neill to Wanaka for a night of hilarity and fun on March 23.

|Enter The Giveaway Here |

Lisa is an author, presenter and motivational speaker and will share the secrets of being a powerful, happy woman.

This is a night of motivation for women who want to love their lives.

Lisa is passionate about inspiring people who want to change their lives, and has spoken to 16,000 women at public events and conferences last year alone.

With a career in fashion, Lisa was fashion editor for NZ Women’s Weekly and has appeared on Breakfast, Paul Henry and Radio Live.

Lisa is looking forward to her upcoming show in Wanaka.

The Holy Family Catholic School is bringing New Zealand diva Lisa O’Neill to Wanaka for a night of hilarity and fun on March 23. Click to book now


“I can’t wait to visit Wanaka again, and talk to all of the wonderful Wanaka women about being the best version of themselves! Decode your DIVA is all about showing women how to be Dynamic, Interesting, Vibrant and Assertive. And helping them take charge of their lives,” Lisa said.

HFCS committee member Julia Hunt said, “Lisa is really inspiring to women and really, really funny. It’s going to be a great night.”

The event will take place at the Lake Wanaka Centre. Doors open 6.30pm for 7pm start. Tickets available on eventfinder at $45 and include a light supper. Net proceeds will go towards education resources for the school.

The Wanaka Sun has two tickets for the event to give away.
Just like our post on Facebook and tag the person you’d like to take. Entries close Sunday March 19 at 8pm.


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Wanaka Sun | 16 – 22 Mar 2017 | Edition 809

Oxbow on the move

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Wanaka Sun (page 7) 16 March 2017 by Glenda Turnbull – email: journalist@thewanakasun.co.nz

After establishing the adventure business in Wanaka five years ago, Oxbow is moving its operations to Queenstown at the end of April.

The company offers thrill-seekers a range of adrenalin-packed activities in their custom built ‘toys’.

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Oxbow owner and general manager Darb Richmond is the in-house helicopter pilot with ten years’ experience. He started driving jetboats in Queenstown in 2000, and also worked as a jet boat driver in Makarora.

The company is looking to refine and expand the Oxbow experience and Darb said it was a good time to move to a separate property.

“We set the business up five years ago on my wife’s parents’ property. It has been a good testing ground, but it is not our land. With the company looking for a new home base and most business coming out of Queenstown it is logical to move the company’s operations over there,” Darb said.

The new Queenstown Oxbow will concentrate on packages including the jet sprint boat, clay bird shooting and offroader truck, and for the first time will offer individual experiences.

“Both the jet sprint boat and offroader truck are pretty unique rides. Our jet sprint boat is the only commercial one of its type in the world and can go from 0-100km in 0.5 seconds,” Darb said.

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Wanaka Sun (page 7) 16 March 2017. CLICK TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!


The boat was built and designed by Peter Coe, eight-time world sprint champion and the off-road truck was designed by National Off-Road Champion Dan Kelper.

“People absolutely love these two rides and they will be unique to Queenstown,” Darb said.
Darb said he and his wife Hails were grateful for the support from the Wanaka community.

“The Wanaka locals have been amazing over the last five years and we want to thank you for all your support,” Darb said.

In the six weeks up to the Wanaka closing date Oxbow is running individual activities for locals without having to do a package.

Oxbow is also offering a giveaway exclusively through the Wanaka Sun. Simply like the Oxbow post on our Facebook page and tell us why the Oxbow adventure is on your bucket list and be into win a Thrill Seeker package for you and two friends.

The Thrill Seeker packages include adventures in their custom built jet sprint boat, off-roader truck and clay bird shooting worth $379pp.

The competition closes on March 19 at 8pm and winners will be contacted shortly after that.

Oxbow is also offering a giveaway exclusively through the Wanaka Sun.

Simply like the Oxbow post on our Facebook page and tell us why the Oxbow adventure is on your bucket list and be into win a Thrill Seeker package for you and two friends.

The Thrill Seeker packages include adventures in their custom built jet sprint boat, off-roader truck and clay bird shooting worth $379pp.

The competition closes on March 19 at 8pm and winners will be contacted shortly after that.


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Wanaka Sun | 16 – 22 Mar 2017 | Edition 809

Local birth facility badly needed | Wanaka Sun

*Until 31 March 2017 or while stocks last!

Wanaka Sun (page 1) 16 March 2017 by Danielle Butler – email: newsdesk@thewanakasun.co.nz

The message from mothers and midwives to the Southern District Health Board is clear – we need more birthing facilities and we need them now.

Wanaka’s home birth rate is currently at around 30 percent compared to the national rate of 10 percent according to Wanaka midwife Morgan Weathington, due to the frequency of quick births in and around the town.

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*Until 31 March 2017 or while stocks last

“The issue of women birthing at home instead of a unit is either one of women’s choice or because that is the best option due to the speed of labour and distance to a unit. It is safer for women to birth in a building than on the side of the road trying to get to a unit. Home births, like primary unit births, are always attended by two midwives with emergency equipment,” Morgan said.

“They are not an unsafe option for low risk women. And in the fast birth cases, they are the only option.”

Morgan said that there are two key issues facing Wanaka’s midwives, the first of which is the ever-increasing population one hour or more from a primary maternity unit, and three and a half hours or more from the closest full service hospital in Dunedin.

“The District Health Board (DHB) is under obligation to provide a maternity unit within 60 minutes of its populations with over 100 birthing women, and therefore has not lived up to its expectations for over ten years in the area,” Morgan said.

Mum-of-four Jessie Boyd lived in Hawea Flat when she had her fourth child Zara at home 20 months ago after originally planning to travel to Alexandra.

“It was about 4am and my midwife told me it was too late to risk the drive and it would have been so painful travelling that far. Looking back it was a wonderful birth but it really annoys me that there is nothing closer,” Jessie said.

“It’s dangerous for driving especially in winter or if complications arise and the car ride in labour would be hell.”

Pictured: Hawea Flat mum Emma Burlinson who lived at Glendhu Station when she gave birth to son Alfie 15 months ago.  Photo: Supplied

Pictured: Hawea Flat mum Emma Burlinson who lived at Glendhu Station when she gave birth to son Alfie 15 months ago. Photo: Supplied

Hawea Flat mum Emma Burlinson who lived out at Glendhu Station when she gave birth to son Alfie 15 months ago, had to abandon her plan of travelling to Charlotte Jean Maternity Hospital in Alexandra and gave birth in her midwife’s office.

“Close to the birth Alfie had stopped growing which caused some concern, and it was likely that had he not come eight days early I would have been induced at Dunedin. However, he arrived a little early and a lot faster than expected, ” Emma, pictured with Alfie, said.

Emma headed to her midwife’s office where she was checked over before she planned to continue on to Alexandra, but found that she was fully dilated and would have to give birth there and then.

Alfie was born only 40g over the “cut off” minimum weight limit of babies required to be sent straight to Dunedin and Emma was injected with oxytocin due to a large bleed, but both went home happy and healthy.

“I was very relieved that everything stacked up in our favour and felt extremely lucky to have a healthy baby, as well as an excellent midwife that made me feel comfortable enough to give birth in such unexpected surroundings. There was a real concern that if things had been different at a number of stages it could have worked out differently,” Emma said.

Wanaka currently has seven qualified midwives in the area who aren’t practicing and in 2018 the town will only be left with two, which is the second problem.

“Due to a maternity contract that is tied up in national legislation, lead maternity carers, which is what the midwives of Wanaka are, are being paid less and less each year with the expectation that all business expenses, mileage and equipment comes from this ever decreasing payment/women cared for,” Morgan said.

“The payment for the work is not sustainable anymore and the personal toll for midwives and their families too great. Not factoring in on-call hours we are making less than minimum wage. With the on-call hours included it is almost a volunteer profession. For this reason it is hard to recruit midwives here.”

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In terms of solutions, Morgan said that a sustainable community-led and funded model like Balclutha’s primary unit could work.

The unit, funded in part by the DHB and Ministry of Health and in part by a community trust, employs community midwives who staff it and provide antenatal, birth and postnatal care.

“A Wanaka primary unit with space for antenatal assessments and community care, a birthing room and postnatal beds, staffed by salaried midwives would work here too,” Morgan said.

“If we positioned it strategically we could also have access to more health care providers in emergencies and quick helicopter access.”

Liz Disney, Southern DHB’s Acting Executive Director, Planning and Funding said that the board’s primary maternity services project is seeking to identify improvements in service delivery in order to enhance sustainability, quality and access.

This includes ensuring appropriate access to primary maternity facilities across the district, as well as transfer and transport processes when secondary care is required.

“Southern DHB is committed to ensuring all women in the district have equitable access to maternity services and that the service is provided in the most safe and effective manner possible,” Liz said.

“Currently primary birthing rates are about 12 percent for all births in the Southern district, which is one of the highest rates of primary birthing in the country.”

Liz added that Charlotte Jean in Alexandra and the Lakes District Hospital in Queenstown both provide primary maternity services in the Central-Lakes area as well as postnatal facilities.

RELATED: Local midwives at breaking point | Wanaka Sun (2 March 2017)


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Wanaka Sun | 16 – 22 Mar 2017 | Edition 809

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