Hon David ParkerMinister for the Environment
The Government has welcomed the decision to approve a new water storage reservoir in Northland, the first of a number of
infrastructure projects earmarked for a speedy consenting process that aims to accelerate New Zealand’s economic
recovery from Covid-19.
The Matawii Water Storage Reservoir will provide drinking water for Kaikohe, and support Northland’s horticulture and
Te Tai Tokerau Water Trust says the 750,000 cubic metre water reservoir in the upper catchment of the Kopenui Stream,
east of the township of Kaikohe, will be used to supply water for town supply (residential, commercial and industrial
uses) and irrigation.
Environment Minister David Parker said this was the first project approved by an Expert Consenting Panel under the
Covid-19 Recovery (Fast-Track Consenting) Act 2020.
“This project, and others like it earmarked for fast-track consenting, will accelerate our economic recovery from Covid
and create jobs. It demonstrates the Government’s ongoing commitment to investment in our regions,” David Parker said.
“This project meets all the requirements under the fast-track consenting process to promote employment and support our
economic recovery, while protecting environmental standards and Treaty of Waitangi principles.
“Northland’s economy has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. The construction of the reservoir will have a positive
effect on employment in the region, and the increased supply of water to the area will have the knock-on effect of
assisting other investment prospects to help us build back stronger.
“This project will establish a supply of clean fresh water that will open up opportunities such as increased
horticulture that will flow through to benefit other sectors of the community. This is an important part of our recovery
plan, investing in projects that both create jobs now and set up further economic development opportunities for the
future.” David Parker said.
The applicant estimated that there could be an increase in GDP of $9 million a year and an additional 60 full-time
equivalent jobs - representing a 2 per cent increase in employment in Kaikohe and its immediate surrounding area.
The decision to approve the project was made by an Expert Consenting Panel led by former Environment Court Chief
Justice, Laurie Newhook. The decision was made in 55 days from the time the application was lodged with the EPA, around
half the time it takes for a similar consent to be granted under the Resource Management Act consenting process.
Projects to be considered under the fast-track process are referred in two ways: those listed in the Act or those
referred by the Minister for the Environment through an order in council.
More information about the Matawii decision is on the EPA website
. More information about applications for fast-tracking through the Order in Council process is on the Mfe website