Trust to ensure Meridian consults

The Waitaki Protection Trust is not withdrawing its appeal to the Environment Court but will use it to ensure an agreement with Meridian Energy over the proposed north bank tunnel concept power scheme is implemented fully.

On Thursday, the Otago Daily Times reported the trust was withdrawing its appeal to the Environment Court against the scheme, after trust chairman Bob Robertson said in a press release that the trust was "happy with the agreement and will no longer be challenging the resource consent in the Environment Court".

Yesterday, the trust contacted the ODT saying it had not withdrawn its appeal.

An agreement had been reached which required Meridian to consult the trust on the preparation and implementation of river management plans.

Meridian was required to give effect to those plans under its conditions of consent in order to mitigate the adverse effects of the NBTC proposal.

The trust would maintain a "watching brief" during the appeal proceedings to ensure Meridian's conditions of consent and the "spirit and intent of the measures to be implemented under the river management plans are not watered down in any way".

All donations received from the public to help run the appeal for which the trust had addresses had already been returned.

Several addresses were still being sought and those donations would be returned as soon as they were verified, the trust said.

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