TODAY |

Hearing underway for Chinese water bottling plant planning on taking water from Whakatane aquifer

A Chinese-owned water bottling company which plans to take one billion litres of water from an ancient aquifer has outlined its case in court.

The Environment Court will hear evidence from a number of parties, including Ngāti Awa, the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, and Creswell New Zealand.

Creswell NZ, owned by Nongfu, was granted consent in 2016 by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council to install a new bore for testing purposes at Otakiri Springs.

It lodged an application with the Bay of Plenty Regional Council to expand the plant, and take 5,000 cubic metres per day with a maximum of one billion litres a year.

That consent was granted in June 2018 by two independent commissioners.

Lawyers acting for Creswell told the court the expansion "will have an acceptably low level of effect on the biophysical properties of the Otakiri aquifer."

However, Sustainable Otakiri, who is appealing resource consent, says the expansion of the water bottling plant will have an adverse effect on the community.

It says increased truck movements, noise from the plant and hours of operation will affect those living along Johnson Road.

Creswell says its expansion will lead to 60 jobs, and nearly 240 full-time equivalent jobs across the project.

The hearing continues.

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Creswell NZ, owned by Nongfu, was granted consent in 2016 by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council to install a new bore for testing purposes at Otakiri Springs.