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Te Wahipounamu – South West New Zealand

New Zealand
Factors affecting the property in 1993*
  • Major linear utilities
  • Water (extraction)
  • Water infrastructure
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Hydro-electric scheme (issue resolved)
  • Exportation of fresh water project
International Assistance: requests for the property until 1993
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 1993**
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1993

At its last session the Committee was informed that the Government of New Zealand had approved an application from a private company for a license to export water from this World Heritage site. The exportation of freshwater would require the construction of a dam, a buried pipeline and four large reservoirs at Jackson's Bay. The Committee noted that the visual and ecological impacts of the proposed development project were not clearly known and that the legal and economic considerations which guided the decision to approve the project are being actively debated in New Zealand.

The Centre contacted the New Zealand authorities and requested them to keep the Committee informed of the environmental impacts of the water export project. The New Zealand authorities, in their letter dated 29 April 1993, have informed the Centre that the Minister of Conservation has indicated to the private company (Okuru Enterprises Ltd.) that he would not approve locating the pipeline inside the Mt. Aspiring National Park located within this World Heritage site. Authorities of the Okuru Enterprises Ltd. are now modifying their application to obtain water from a creek situated outside the boundaries of the National Park. The changes which the Okuru Enterprises Ltd. will introduce to the original proposal will be advertised for public comment and have to be agreed upon on a consensual basis. Following this procedure, a new report on the modified proposal will be submitted to the Minister of Conservation in order to re-assess all relevant information.

Hence, the New Zealand authorities indicate that it will be some time before a final decision at ministerial level is taken on the acceptability of the modified proposal. They have also assured the Centre that the environmental impact of the modified proposal will be carefully considered and that decisions will not be made in haste. The New Zealand authorities have reassured the Centre that the maintenance of the values of the World Heritage area will be an important consideration in reviewing any project for water export.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1993
17 BUR VIII.2
Te Wahinounamu - Southwest New Zealand (New Zealand)

The Bureau recalled that at its last session the Committee was informed that the Government of New Zealand had approved an application from a private company for a licence to export water from this World Heritage site. The exportation of freshwater would require the construction of a dam, a buried pipeline and four large reservoirs at Jackson's Bay. The Committee noted that the visual and ecological impacts of the proposed development project were not clearly known and that the legal and economic considerations which guided the decision to approve the project were being actively debated in New Zealand.

The Bureau noted with satisfaction that the Minister of Conservation has subsequently indicated to the private company (Okuru Enterprises Ltd.) that he would not approve locating the pipeline inside the Mt. Aspiring National Park located within this World Heritage site. Authorities of the Okuru Enterprises Ltd. are now modifying their application to obtain water from a creek situated outside the boundaries of the National Park. The changes which the Okuru Enterprises Ltd. will introduce to the original proposal will be advertized for public comment and have to be agreed upon on a consensual basis. Following this procedure, a new report on the modified proposal will be submitted to the Minister of Conservation so that all relevant information could be re-assessed. The Bureau concurred with the New Zealand authorities that it will be some time before a final decision at Ministerial level is taken on the acceptability of the modified proposal. The Bureau noted that the New Zealand authorities have assured the Centre that the environmental impact of the modified proposal will be carefully considered and that decisions will not be made in haste, and that the maintenance of the values of the World Heritage area will be an important consideration in reviewing any project for water export. The Bureau requested the Centre and IUCN to remain regularly updated on the the review of the water-export proposal to be carried out by New Zealand's Department of Conservation.

Report year: 1993
New Zealand
Date of Inscription: 1990
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(viii)(ix)(x)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 17COM (1993)
Exports

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.


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