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Ed Sheeran

Poroti hapu fights botting plant

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A Northland hapu is gearing up to fight the construction of a bottling plant that will take water for free from a spring it owns but can’t access.

The case of Poroti Springs is considered one of the worst examples of how the laws around water work against Maori.

Although the hapu has title to the springs through the Maori land Court, water consents have been given to two private companies.

Hapu spokesperson Milan Rika says Zodiac Holdings took its first tanker load of water from the springs last month to keep its consent alive, and the community is concerned its planned development will generate up to 80 truck movements a day.

He says while Whangarei District Council should have called in an independent commissioner to consider Zodiac’s building consent, because it also draws water off the spring.

"There’s been a lot of coercion and ignoring us with the three consent holders, Mangatawhiri Spit Irrigation Company, Whangarei District Council and Zodiac sitting many many times together like we don't exist, like flies on the wall. Of course we are right next door," Mr Ruka says.



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