Meetings to discuss Manuherikia minimum flow regime

Gary Kelliher
Gary Kelliher
The Otago Regional Council is holding invitation-only meetings in Omakau this week to discuss the science behind the contentious minimum flow saga and the impact it will have on the Manuherikia catchment.

These meetings follow on from public meetings in Cromwell held on June 11.

A member of the public told the Otago Daily Times about the meetings yesterday, but when council senior media adviser Emma Schranz was approached, she said the council would prefer the media not to attend ''so that members of the public can speak freely''.

Meetings began yesterday on the Dunstan, Lauder and Thomsons Creek tributaries and will continue today with discussions on the Manuherikia River and Chatto Creek tributaries.

Ms Schranz said the meetings would further explain the science that informed the proposed minimum flow numbers, discuss catchment specific questions and provide an opportunity to discuss the hydrology and ecology of the catchment.

Farmer Gary Kelliher, who attended yesterday's meetings said discussion was ''volatile''.

He said the council's proposed minimum flow numbers seemed ''predetermined'' and he felt the council was doing all it could to stay with these without listening to the public.

''Our concern is that the whole process is totally ignoring our concerns ... we're not confident they can see reality.''

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