Okere Gates Consent – Lake Levels


Okere Gates and Ohau Weir Consents

Various Mediation Meetings have been held during 2011. Consent Condition amendments have been agreed between the Parties. Ngati Pikiao, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, LRCA and all except one other interested party have signed the final documentation – a conference call with the Environment Court judge on Friday 16 December ruled that a signing extension will be granted until 27 January 2012 to permit further consideration by all parties. The Environment Court cannot rule on the mediated agreement until all parties have signed and information on the amended consent conditions cannot be released until that time.

Background:  The Submissions Consents Hearing was held at the Energy Events Centre, Rotorua 6-10 December 2010. The commissioners ruling was notified in late January 2011. A period of 15 working days was allowed during which an appeal could be lodged by a previously submitting party. Two parties subsequently appealed this decision.

Previously, a Public Meeting was held Sunday 26 September 2010 at which the Lake Rotoiti Community Assn (LRCA) executive was mandated to submit in support of the BOP Regional Council (formerly EBOP) consent application for the Okere Gates and Ohau Weir, as notified on Monday 13 September. Supplementary conditions to that support were also mandated, to be submitted as deemed appropriate by the LRCA Executive Committee.

The basis of the BOP Regional Council proposal is summarised in a recent LRCA newsletter, an excerpt of which can be downloaded from the adjacent submenu on this website.

Four consents required to operate the Okere Gates and Ohau Weir were due to expire 30 June 2010. An interim application was lodged by EBOP (Rivers and Drainage Group, as consent holder) 18 December 2009, to permit continued operation under existing consents until such time as revised operating parameters are finalised. The latest EBOP proposal (refer submenu) is somewhat closer to the Status Quo than had been the case with proposals in late 2009.

From a water quality perspective, concern focuses on the impact of managed lake level fluctuations upon efficient operation of the $10m Ohau Diversion Wall – computer modeling for this by Waikato University is referenced as part of the consent application and AEE Report (Assessment of Environmental Effects).