Below is a copy of our new Artists for save our water leaflet urging the public to email their views on the proposed irrigation schemes affecting The Hurunui River and Lake Sumner to

Text above reads as;
The Hurunui farmers’ water wish-list, proposing more intensive irrigation, could mean the destruction of natural environments that many of us love and want to remain as they are. Once you dam a wild river it is destroyed forever.
We do not want Lake Sumner to look like Lake Monowai, raised 2.4 metres in 1920 and is still ringed with dead trees.

The new undemocratic Zone committee meetings are being pushed through double quick. The John Key appointed Commissioners who replaced our elected Environment Canterbury representatives, want to “to stitch up water by July” so they have a plan to be notified by first of October. They want the Waiau flow and allocation to be decided by February and the Hurunui flow and allocation by March.

Email :

Report from Hurunui Zone Committee 31/1/11
In their pre meeting briefing, Lynda Weastell-Murchison, Environment Canterbury’s Principal Consents and Planning Officer, advised the Hurunui Zone Committee that the Zonal Committee can find their “own integrated solution” and that if the law won’t let us at the moment so we can find another way, legislative change”. John Key set this legislative precedence when our elected Environment Canterbury representatives were sacked. Professor Philip Joseph, School of Law, University of Canterbury said the Environment Canterbury (Temporary Commissioners and Improved Water Management) Act, which was passed under urgency breaches several principles of law, is “constitutionally repugnant”, contains “elements of subterfuge” and is a “constitutional affront” since we have lost our right of recourse to the Environment Court.

On the table are:
– Having a dam at Lake Sumner and a 75 metre dam at the south branch of the Hurunui
– Ngai Tahu Property proposes raising the Lake level 2.35 metres and an in-canal hydro at Balmoral.
– Transferring water from the Hurunui River by pumping 70 metres to a canal and tunnel through to the upper Waitohoi River to be stored in a 100 metre dam near Seven Hills
– Pumping water from the Waiau River from a canal to a reservoir at Grampians or to a large storage in the upper Pahau
– A dam and reservoir on the Mandamus River with water pumped from the Hurunui River
– A new race to supply Waiau river water to the Balmoral Forest. Ngai Tahu received this forest in their Treaty Settlement and now wishes to clear fell and convert to dairy.
– Pumping water from the Waiau River to a reservoir at Countess Stream.


Two further confidential options were presented to the committee that the public was excluded from hearing about.
The Zone Committee is concerned that Hanmer Basin is missing out on the economic benefit of having its river “managed”. Mayor Winton Dalley made the point that “if the add-on costs of weed and predator control were too great a partnership with the greater community would be needed.” In other words they want you and me to pay for their proposed, grandiose despoiling of our pristine wild rivers. David Bedford pointed out that missing from the list was having a good public supply of water and that the Hurunui zone committee does not have the science or costings to make these decisions at this stage.

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One Response to SAVE LAKE SUMNER email :

  1. admin says:

    A water wish for me as a person living in Canterbury would be to
    leave Lake Sumner as it is, i.e a natural environment for all to
    enjoy now and in the very distant future. I can see no long benefit
    of building a dam. The calculations done are on paper only and seem to
    focus only on short term profit. (and even this is is not proven
    fact). Once a natural environment is destroyed it is destroyed
    forever. Please think very carefully on these issues.

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