Central Plains Water Enhancement Scheme Timeline: Wikis


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This is a Central Plains Water Enhancement Scheme timeline.

The Central Plains Water Enhancement Scheme is a proposed water diversion, damming and water reticulation and irrigation scheme for the Canterbury Plains of New Zealand.


1999 Beginning

  • 26 April - the Christchurch City Council adopts the 1999 Annual Plan.[1] The plan budgetted $150,000 for a 'Feasibility Study for Central Plains Irrigation'.[2]
  • 13 September - Christchurch City Council approved setting up a joint steering committee with Selwyn District Council, to be called the 'Central Plains Irrigation Steering Committee'.[3]

2000 Steering Committee

  • 14 February - the terms of reference were approved by Christchurch City Council and Denis O'Rourke was appointed to the committee.[4]
  • 24 March - Doug Marsh, Jack Searle, John Donkers, Willie Palmer and Doug Catherwood were appointed to the committee.[5]
  • July - Doug Marsh is elected as Chairman of the steering committee. The council staff supporting the committee are Walter Lewthwaite, Allan Watson, Bruce Henderson (Christchurch City Council) and Eddie Thomas (Selwyn District Council).[6]
  • 18 December - the steering committee engages URS New Zealand Limited, a subsidiary of URS Corp.,[7] to carry out the feasibility study.[8]

2001 Scoping Studies

  • 13 July - URS New Zealand Ltd are to carry out the third phase of the feasibility study for $NZ374,300 excluding GST.[9]
  • 6 December - URS New Zealand Ltd applied to Canterbury Regional Council on behalf of the two councils and the Ashburton Community Water Trust, for a resource consent to take water from the Waimakariri River and Rakaia River.[10]

2002 Consolidation

  • 7 February - the URS feasibility study was released. In spite of noting: - the community opposition, - the lack of a strategy for obtaining land needed for dams and canals, - the environmental concerns (groundwater contamination from nitrates, degradation of river habitats, changes to lowland water tables), the feasibility study concluded that the project was feasible.[11]
  • 28 February - the Christchurch City Council adopts a compromise resolution after debating the feasibility study. The continued funding of Central Plains Water Enhancement Scheme was referred the to the economic development unit of the Council's Capital Endowment fund. No one with prior involvement was to be involved in the decision. A comprehensive report on the 'extent to which the scheme could be managed sustainably' was to be produced. [12]
  • 11 October - URS New Zealand Ltd release a geotechnical study that concluded that the Waianiwaniwa River valley, upstream of the village of Coalgate was a suitable site for an earth dam and reservoir with a volume of 290 million cubic metres of water.[13]
  • 21 November - the Christchurch City Council approves the use of a trust to hold the resource consents for the scheme.[14]

2003 CPW Trust

  • 15 April - the Central Plains Water Trust is established.[15]
  • 12 May - the CPW Trust will set up a company to issue a prospectus to raise funds.[16]
  • 23 October - the 2001 resource consent application for Rakaia and Waimakariri River water is transferred to the Central Plains Water Trust.[17]

2004 CPW Ltd and share prospectus

  • 16 September - Central Plains Water Limited issues a share prospectus to raise funds to pay for applications for resource consents.[18]

2005 applications for resource consents

  • 12 May - Central Plains Water Limited confirms GHD Limited as Project Manager, Buddle Findlay as legal adviser, URS New Zealand Limited as technical adviser and Deloittes as financial adviser.[19]
  • 23 November - the consent applications for the use of water for irrigation and associated land uses are lodged with Environment Canterbury.[20]
  • 24 November - Central Plains Water Limited is given requiring authority status by the Minister for the Environment, meaning it may apply to the Minister of Land Information to compulsorily acquire private land.[21]

2006 and 2007 Notification of applications



  • 5 May - a further 10 resource consent applications for a ten kilometre tunnel are notified by Environment Canterbury.[24]
  • 5 July - the Christchurch City Council allows Central Plains Water Limited to borrow up to $4.8 million from Dairy Holdings Limited.[25]
  • 1 August - Central Plains Water Trust asks for the consent hearing to be deferred to February 2008.[26]
  • 13 August - the Christchurch medical officer of health, Alistair Humphrey, commented that the downstream social and health concerns of the scheme were being largely overlooked in the haste to promote the $350 million irrigation scheme.[27]

2008 Hearings

  • 25 February - hearings for the scheme, which has had 1200 submissions, began in Christchurch.[28]
  • 25 September - the hearings finish.[29]

2009 Interim decision

  • 3 April - Hearing Panel indicates they are unlikely to grant CPW the dam consents.[30]
  • 11 May - the hearing resumes to decide whether to consider granting water takes and water races.[31]
  • 20 May - hearing evidence from CPW will resume on 5 October 2009.[32]

See also


  1. ^ Minutes of a meeting of the Christchurch City Council held at 9am on Monday 26 April 1999, retrieved 23 March 2008.
  2. ^ Christchurch City Council Plan - 1999 Edition Feasibility Study for Central Plains Irrigation proposal ($150,000), page 28, retrieved 2/10/2007
  3. ^ Minutes of the Christchurch City Council Strategy and Resources Committee 13 September 1999.
  4. ^ Report of Central Plains Irrigation Steering Committee to Christchurch City Council Strategy and Resources Committee, by Allan Watson, 14 February 2000, retrieved 1 October 2007.
  5. ^ Minutes of a meeting of the Christchurch City Council held on Friday 24 March 2000 The appointments had already been approved on 13 March 2000 by the Strategy and Resources Committee Central plains water enhancement steering committee: membership. Report of Allan Watson to the Strategy and Resources Committee.
  6. ^ Central Plains Water Enhancement: Steering Committee Progress Report By Allan Watson to the Christchurch City Council Strategy and Resources Committee Agenda Monday 17 July 2000.
  7. ^ URS NZ Limited, Christchurch, URS Locations, URS Corp website, retrieved 23 March 2008.
  8. ^ Supplementary report by Chairman of the Strategy and Resources committee.
  9. ^ Approval of tender for feasibility study Report by Allan Watson to Strategy and Resources Committee, 13 July 2001.
  10. ^ 'Assessment of Environmental Effects for Waimakariri and Rakaia Rivers Water Takes', Prepared by URS New Zealand Limited, 6 December 2001, Resource consent application CRC021091, Environment Canterbury Consent File CO6C/18965.
  11. ^ 'Plainly Unsustainable - The Central Plains Water Enhancement Scheme', Forest and Bird, August 2003, retrieved 1 October 2007.
  12. ^ Council Minutes 28/02/02 Minutes of a meeting of the Christchurch City Council held at 2pm on Thursday 28 February 2002.
  13. ^ McMorran, Tim. (2002), Final report geotechnical investigation for the proposed Waianiwaniwa water storage dam, Prepared for Central Plains Water Enhancement Committee Selwyn District Council and Christchurch City Council, c/- Private Bag 1, Leeston, 11 October 2002, URS New Zealand Limited.
  14. ^ Report to the Strategy and Finance Committee, November 2002, from Director of Policy Allan Watson.
  15. ^ URS (2006), Central Plains Water Enhancement Scheme: Assessment of Environmental Effects for Resource Consent Applications to Canterbury Regional Council, Section 1, page 1.3, Prepared for Central Plains Water Trust, 23 June 2006, 42156547.66140 \ AEE R001C, by URS New Zealand Limited.
  16. ^ Central Plains Water Trust: progress report Report of the Strategy and Finance Committee to the Council Meeting of 22 May 2003, Author, Allan Watson.
  17. ^ Central Plains water trust : progress report to 30 September 2003 Submitted by: Doug Marsh Chairperson, Central Plains Water Trust .
  18. ^ Central Plains Water Trust Signals Share Issue Christchurch City Council Media Release, 16 September 2004.
  19. ^ Central Plains Water Limited appoints resource consenting team Central Plains Water Limited News Release 12 May 2005, retrieved 18 October 2007.
  20. ^ 'Consents & Designations' Central Plains Water Limited web site, retrieved 18 October 2007.
  21. ^ Plains Water given requiring authority status. Press Release: New Zealand Government, 24 November 2005.
  22. ^ Further progress for proposed Central Plains Water irrigation scheme Press Release, 12 June 2006, Central Plains Water Trust.
  23. ^ Central Plains Water Trust consent applications notified June 24, 2006 Press Release, Environment Canterbury, 23 June 2006, retrieved 3 October 2007.
  24. ^ Central Plains Notifications Additional Resource Consent Applications and Consent Search CRC072760, retrieved 17 October 2007.
  25. ^ Item 20. Central Plains Water Trust issues Minutes of a meeting of the Christchurch City Council held at 9.30am on Thursday 5 July 2007.
  26. ^ 'Central Plains Water hearing deferred to February', Environment Canterbury Media Release, Wednesday, 1 August 2007.
  27. ^ Canterbury water plan 'risks health'. 'The Press', Monday, 13 August 2007.
  28. ^ Scanlon, Sean (2008-02-24). "Water scheme under spotlight". The Sunday Star-Times.  
  29. ^ Daily Hearing Details, 25 September 2008, Venue: Treasury Room, The George Hotel, 50 Park Terrace, Christchurch, Start: 9:00am, * ACWT: Right of Reply, * CPW: Cliff Tipler evidence in reply.
  30. ^ Agenda item No 6 Consents Section Report, Regulation Overview Committee Agenda for 26th November 2008, Canterbury Regional Council, viewed 24 November 2008.
  31. ^ Central Plains Water hearing update resumption May 11, Canterbury Regional Council Media Release, Friday, 8 May 2009, retrieved 18 May 2009.
  32. ^ Minute 6 of the Commissioners - Decision as to continuance of hearing and request for further information (uploaded 20 May 2009), Canterbury Regional Council website, retrieved 20 May 2009.


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