Meat company Affco has been granted two resource consents for works associated with the existing stormwater and cooling water outfall from its Horotiu plant to the Waikato River.
The resource consents relate to the development of a structure to reduce the potential for erosion of land by the flow of stormwater and cooling water to the river.
Affco applied for the consent after being advised by the Waikato Regional Council that the structure was necessary to help prevent erosion of a gully.
Waikato-Tainui Te Kauhanganui Incorporated and the Turangawaewae Trust Board argued against the granting of the consents.
The report from the hearing committee – comprising an independent chair David Hill, Cr Lois Livingston, and Steven Wilson from the Waikato River Authority – said the two organizations seemed concerned that the project could potentially interfere at some stage with the development of the proposed Te Awa cycleway.
The hearings committee did not accept this suggestion. “We do not consider the works to necessarily compromise the ability to use the gully for the cycleway if that is approved,” the report said.
However, the hearings committee decided the consents should only last till 2016 when other consents related to the outfall expired. That would allow all the consents to be considered within the context of new co-management legislation governing the Waikato River.
Affco will still need to negotiate an easement with the Department of Conservation before it can proceed with the work approved under the consents.