The Court of Appeal challenge by Aotearoa Water Action (AWA), against water bottling consents granted by Canterbury Regional Council to Cloud Ocean Water Limited and Rapaki Natural Resources Limited, has been successful. The judgement concluded that the consents were not lawfully granted and the High Court decision, along with the Council’s decisions granting consents, should be set aside. This means that Cloud Ocean Water Limited and Rapaki Natural Resources Limited no longer have the consents to carry on their bottling operation.
AWA spokesperson Peter Richardson says the decision is testament to the relentless support of the public and AWA would like to thank them. He says it has been a long wait for the public who have strongly backed the group’s legal challenge and donated funds to help the court case proceed. March to Save Our Water, held in March 2019, saw thousands of people march through Christchurch reflecting the huge public concern. The court action has also been assisted by a $50,000 grant from Christchurch City Council.
AWA is considering how this decision may affect other situations and consents involving the taking and use of groundwater, particularly in Canterbury. Richardson says that the court case is extremely important for the future of water security in Aotearoa.
“Parts of New Zealand are already experiencing water shortages. We need to make sure we are protecting our water for future generations.”