Even while it considers over-riding staff and granting more consents for water takes from the Tukituki, here is a press release put out April 2 by the HB Regional Council:

Lack of water flow closes river mouths

“A lack of rainfall through river catchments as well as a prevailing on-shore swell and tide action is affecting river mouths around the region.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has mechanically opened river mouths regularly in the last month, however the benefit of this work has generally been short lived.

The Ngaruroro-Clive-Tutaekuri (at Waitangi-Awatoto), the Tukituki, the Te Ngarue, and the Esk river mouths are the most affected. These rivers open onto gravel beaches which are easily moved by the sea and form barriers across the river mouths.

The Regional Council is monitoring the situation daily and will continue to open the mouths as necessary or as conditions allow, however temporary.

‘The best way for us to open the river mouths is to wait until there is a good flow or ‘fresh’ coming down the river. We use the power of the water to work with the mechanical digger to assist in making the opening and provide sufficient water to maintain the mouth once open,’ said Vince Byrne, Council’s rivers engineering officer.

‘However with the lack of rain around the region reducing river flows, we lack that natural assistance.’”

Left hand (“full speed ahead with consents”) … meet the right hand (“we’re desperate for water flow”)!


Join the Conversation


  1. Tom, I find your constant cynical attacks on the HB Regional Council at the very best irritating. This particularly applies to the water take consents in the upper Tukituki River.

    (Let me say at the outset that as an applicant I have had nothing to do with the process whatsoever, and do not know if they have made any decisions, or if not, what they are likely to be.)

    You have pre–empted their decision by predicting that the committee will ‘overriding staff recommendations’. This may or may not be so, but what if they do? Are you not aware of the most basic tenant of democracy; that being that those that are elected make the decisions and are accountable to their constituency for them – that is immediately and most certainly at the next election?

    Further, if you think that reducing water takes will provide sufficient flow to clear the river mouths in current low rainfall conditions you’re dreaming.

    I understand that the front-page report in this week’s ‘CHB Mail’, which throws a somewhat different light upon the much maligned river, has been made known to you. You should to print it. And this comment too.


    Ewan Mac

  2. i think the point is that the water consent process is in dire need of overhaul – the first-up best-dressed grant of allocations is totally inappropriate in the current (changing!) environment – and rather than continue with this flawed and demonstrably unfair (not to mention unsustainable) water lottery, the HBRC could take a leadership role and move to review and reconfigure its consent process.

    gee, but apparently that's too lateral… so even when the Tukituki is supposedly "fully allocated", applications such as the current ones are not only allowed but may well be approved – presumably solely on the basis that otherwise someone last-up worst-dressed might miss out! er, contradictory, no?

    guess they (ewan?) couldn't afford to buy someone else's unused rights….

    bottom line: its a farce and it has to change.

    you might give that some consideration, ewan, before jumping on your high horse.

    ps: just wait til the dairy lobby starts turning the valve! or better, dont – beat them to it and CHANGE THE PROCESS NOW!

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