Central Plains Water
Central Plains Water, or, more fully, the Central Plains Water Enhancement Scheme, is a large-scale proposal for water diversion, damming, reticulation and irrigation for the Central Plains of Canterbury, New Zealand. Construction started on the scheme in 2014.
The original proposal involved diversion of water, the construction of a storage dam, tunnels and a series of canals and water races to supply water for irrigation to an area of 60,000 hectares on the Canterbury Plains. Water will be taken from the Rakaia and Waimakariri Rivers. In June 2010, resource consents for the scheme were approved in a revised form without the storage dam. From 2010 to 2012, the resource consents were under appeal to the Environment Court. In July 2012, the resource consents for the scheme were finalised by the Environment Court.
The Central Plains Water Enhancement Scheme is contentious. It is opposed by community, recreation and environment groups, some city and regional councillors, and some corporate dairying interests. The scheme is supported by Christchurch City Council and Selwyn District Council staff and some councillors, irrigation interests, consultants, farming interests, and more recently, some corporate dairying interests.
- 1 Scope
- 2 A brief history
- 3 Supporters
- 4 Opponents
- 5 Costs
- 6 The feasibility study stage
- 7 Court actions with other competing abstractors
- 8 The corporate dairying connection
- 9 Local government elections October 2007
- 10 Environmental impacts
- 11 The hearing of the applications and submissions
- 12 References
- 13 External links
'The applicants propose to irrigate 60,000 hectares of land between the Rakaia and Waimakariri Rivers from the Malvern foothills to State Highway One. Water will be abstracted at a rate of up to 40 m3/s from two points on the Waimakariri River and one point on the Rakaia River. The water will be irrigated directly from the river and via a storage system. The proposal includes a 55 metre high storage dam within the Waianiwaniwa Valley and associated land use applications for works within watercourses.'
The proposed dam would be about 2 kilometres long, with a maximum height of 55 metres, with a base width of about 250 metres, and 10 m wide crest, with a capacity of 280 million cubic metres. The dam would be 1.5 kilometres north east of the town of Coalgate. The two rivers and the reservoir would be connected by a headrace canal, 53 kilometres long, 5 metres deep and 30 metres wide (40–50 metres including embankments). Water would be delivered to farmers via 460 kilometres of water races, ranging in width from 14 to 27 metres, including the embankments.
A brief history
In 1991, Christchurch City Council and the Selwyn District Council, in their annual planning process, agree on a feasibility study on irrigation of the Central Plains. The two councils provide a budget and set up a joint steering committee. In 2000, the steering committee contracts consulting firm URS New Zealand Limited to prepare a scoping report. In late 2001, the steering committee applies for resource consent to take 40 m3/s of water from the Rakaia River and the Waimakariri River. In January 2002, the steering committee releases the feasibility study and seeks to continue the project.
In 2003, the Central Plains Water Trust was set up to apply for resource consents, and the Trust establishes a company, Central Plains Water Limited, to raise funds from farmers via a share subscription. In 2004 Central Plains Water Limited issued a share prospectus and the share subscription is over-subscribed. In November 2005, further consent applications for land and water use were lodged with Canterbury Regional Council and Central Plains Water Limited becomes a 'requiring authority'. In June 2006, further consent applications for land use and a notice of requirement, the precursor to the use of the Public Works Act to compulsorily acquire land, are lodged with Selwyn District Council.
In July 2007, the trustees of Central Plains Water Trust informed Christchurch City Council that they had run out of money to fund the lawyers and consultants needed for the consent and notice of requirement hearings. Christchurch City Council gave approval for Central Plains Water Limited to borrow up to $4.8 million from corporate dairy farmer Dairy Holdings Limited. The hearing to decide the resource consent applications and submissions and the notice of requirement commenced on 25 February 2008.
In September 2012, Selwyn District Council approved a loan of $5 million to Central Plains Water Limited for the design stage.
The Central Plains Water enhancement scheme has had a small but influential group of supporters, some of whom have been involved as steering committee members, trustees and company directors. The supporters have included development-minded council politicians, council staff with water engineering backgrounds, directors of council-owned companies, farmer representatives and consultants. The advancement of the scheme appears to have coincided with career moves and business interests of some of these supporters.
The initial membership of Central Plains Water Enhancement Steering Committee consisted of Councillor Pat Harrow (Christchurch City Council) and Councillors Christiansen and Wild (Selwyn District Council) and Doug Marsh, Jack Searle, John Donkers, Willie Palmer and Doug Catherwood. Christchurch City councillor Denis O'Rourke was soon added and Doug Marsh became chairperson.
Doug Marsh is now the Chairperson of the Central Plains Water Trust and a director of Central Plains Water Limited. He describes himself as a "Christchurch-based professional (company) director"  Doug Marsh appears to specialise in council-owned companies. Doug Marsh is also the Chairman of the board of the Directors of the Selwyn Plantation Board Ltd, the Chairman of Plains Laminates Ltd, Chairman of the Canterbury A & P Board, Chairman of Southern Cross Engineering Holdings Ltd, a Director of City Care Ltd, a Director of Electricity Ashburton Ltd and a Director of Hindin Communications Ltd Denis O'Rourke and Doug Catherwood, who were two of the original members of the steering committee, are now Trustees of the Central Plains Water Trust.
Allan Watson, who was the Christchurch City Council Water Services Manager in 1999, had a very important role. Watson wrote most of the reports submitted to the Christchurch City Council strategy and resources committee between late 1999 and 2003. Watson wrote the initial report to the Christchurch City Council strategy and resources committee that set up the Central Plains joint steering committee. Watson wrote the crucial report in February 2002 that recommended that the scheme be considered feasible and that the role of the steering committee be continued. Watson had previously been the Malvern County Engineer for 10 years. Allan Watson now works for the consulting firm GHD and he has publicly represented GHD as the project managers for the Central Plains Water Enhancement scheme.
In 2000, Walter Lewthwaite was one of the original Christchurch City Council employees supporting the joint Steering Committee. Lewthwaite had 30 years experience in water engineering and 14 years experience in managing irrigation projects. In November 2005, Lewthwaite was a Senior Environmental Engineer employed by URS New Zealand Limited, and the project manager and co-author of the application for resource consents lodged with Canterbury Regional Council. By June 2006, Lewthwaite was an Associate of URS New Zealand Limited. In September 2006, Lewthwaite also prepared information to support the applications to Selwyn District Council.
The Central Plains Water Enhancement Scheme is opposed by farmers and community, recreation and environment groups. Opponents include;
- individual farmers such as Sheffield Valley farmer Marty Lucas who will lose more than 30% of his property.
- the Malvern Hills Protection Society formerly the 'Dam Action Group',
- the Water Rights Trust,
- the New Zealand Recreational Canoeing Association,
- the Christchurch-based White Water Canoe Club,
- the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand,
- the Fish and Game Council of New Zealand, and,
- the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand,
Between 1,192 and 1,316 of public submitters oppose the 64 notified consent applications lodged with Canterbury Regional Council and between 153 and 172 submissions are in support. The range of numbers of submitters given is presumably due to the some of the submissions specifying some specific consent applications rather than all of the applications included in the proposal.
The estimated construction costs of the scheme have doubled since the 2002 'feasibility' study and have increased by 500% since the first scoping study.
In December 2000, the initial scoping study estimated the total cost of the scheme to be $NZ120 million or $1,190.48 per hectare irrigated.
By September 2001, the estimated scheme cost was $NZ201.7 million or $2,400 per hectare irrigated.
In February 2002, when Christchurch City Council and Selwyn District Council were presented with the feasibility study, the estimated scheme cost was $NZ235 million for 84,000 hectares or $2,798 per hectare irrigated.
At 1 April 2004, the estimated scheme cost was $NZ372 million for 60,000 hectares or $6,200 per hectare irrigated.
In January 2006, Central Plains Water Limited director John Donkers stated that the total cost was $NZ367 million for 60,000 hectares or $NZ6,117 per hectare.
In December 2007, the estimate of the total cost of the scheme appeared to be $6,826 per hectare irrigated.
On 19 February 2008, the evidence of Walter Lewthwaite, one of the principal engineering witnesses for Central Plains Water Trust, became available from the Canterbury Regional Council website. Lewthwaite states that in early 2007 he compiled and supplied an estimate of the total scheme cost to Mr Donnelly (the economist) and Mr MacFarlane (the farm management consultant) for their use in providing the economic analysis. The estimate was $NZ409.6 million for a scheme area of 60,000 hectares, or $6,826 per hectare irrigated.
The feasibility study stage
The constitution and terms of reference for the Central Plains Water Enhancement Steering Committee was approved on 14 February 2000. The terms of reference had these two objectives:
- to execute feasibility studies into the viability and practicality of water enhancement schemes in the Central Plains area,..
- is to undertake feasibility studies for the Central Plains area sufficiently detailed to allow decisions on the advisability of proceeding to resource consent applications and eventual scheme implementation.
The feasibility studies also had a required level of detail:
The level of detail of these studies shall be sufficient to allow decisions to be made by the Councils on the advisability of proceeding to resource consent applications and scheme implementation.
By February 2001, the steering committee had identified 27 tasks that would be necessary to complete the feasibility study. The list of tasks is comprehensive; it included the assessment of economic effects, benefits, environmental effects, social effects, cultural effects, risks, planning, land accessibility, and environmental and technical feasibility, and consentability. Item 23 was specifically entitled 'Land Accessibility'.
On 11 February 2002 the Central Plains Water Enhancement Steering Committee presented the URS feasibility report and their own report to a joint meeting of the two 'parent' Councils. On 18 February 2002 the reports were presented to the Strategy and Finance committee of the Christchurch City Council.
The conclusion of the URS feasibility study was stated fairly firmly;
"that a water enhancement scheme for the Central Plains can be built, is affordable, will have effects that can be mitigated, and is therefore feasible"
The Steering Committee's conclusion was much less firm.
"the affordability, bankability and consentability of the proposed scheme has been proved to a degree sufficient to give the Selwyn District Council and Christchurch City Councils confidence to proceed with the project to the next stage."
The Steering Committee had not provided a full conclusion on a number of issues from the list of 27 feasibility study tasks. They had instead simply moved the resolution of a number of the important issues from the feasibility study stage to a new stage to be called 'concept refinement'. The issues to be dealt with later were;
- more technical investigations
- the scheme's ownership structure
- how to acquire land for dams and races
- the mitigation of social, environmental and cultural effects.
Court actions with other competing abstractors
Central Plains Water Trust has been in some lengthy litigation with Ngāi Tahu Properties Limited and Synlait. The three entities have resource consents or applications for resource consents to take the same water - the remaining water from the Rakaia and Waimakariri Rivers, allocated for abstraction by the Rakaia Water Conservation Order or the Waimakariri Rivers Regional Plan. The issue before the courts is 'who has first access to limited water? The first to have consent granted? The first to file an application to take water? The first to file all necessary applications? The first to have replied to requests for information so that the application is complete and therefore 'notifiable'? The cases have been appealed up to the Supreme Court.
Ngāi Tahu Properties Limited
On 28 January 2005, Ngāi Tahu Properties Limited had applied for competing resource consents to take 3.96 m³/s of water from the Waimakariri River and use it for irrigation of 5,700 hectares of land to the north of the Waimakariri River. On 17 September 2005 the Ngai Tahu applications were publicly notified. A hearing before independent commissioners was held in February 2006. On 26 and 27 June 2006, Ngāi Tahu Properties Limited sought a declaration from the Environment Court that their application to take water from the Waimakariri River had 'priority' over the 2001 CPWT application and therefore could be granted before the CPWT application.
On 22 August 2006, the Environment Court released a decision that Ngāi Tahu Properties Limited had priority to the remaining 'A' allocation block of water from the Waimakariri River over the Central Plains Water Trust application.
The Central Plains Water Trust then appealed the decision to the High Court on the grounds that as they had applied first their priority to the water should be upheld, in spite of the fact that a decision would be some time in the future. The High Court agreed with the Environment Court that priority to a limited resource went to the applications that were ready to be 'notifiable' first, not the applicant who applied first. That decision confirmed that Ngāi Tahu Properties Limited would be able to take water under their consents from the Waimakariri River at a more optimal minimum flow than any later consent granted to Central Plains Water Trust.
However, Central Plains Water Trust appealed this decision to the Court of Appeal and the case was heard on 28 February 2008. On 19 March 2008, the Court of Appeal released a majority decision, that reversed the Environment Court and High Court decisions and awarded priority to Central Plains Water Trust. Justice Robertson gave a dissenting minority opinion that without the full information, the original CPW application had not been ready for notification in 2001.
On 24 June 2008 the Supreme Court granted Ngai Tahu Property Limited leave to hear an appeal of the Court of Appeal decision. 
In early 2007, the Central Plains Water Trust and the Ashburton Community Water Trust went to the Environment Court for a declaration that their 2001 consent application for water from the Rakaia River had priority over the consent application made by dairying company Synlait (Robindale) Dairies.
In May 2007, the Environment Court ruled the Central Plains Water Trust application had priority over the Synlait application. Synlait Director Ben Dingle said that the decision was being appealed to the High Court. The High Court heard this appeal on 23 and 24 October 2007. On 13 March 2008, the High Court released its decision to uphold the appeal and to award priority to Synlait. Central Plains Water Limited announced it would lodge an appeal with the Court of Appeal.
The corporate dairying connection
In May 2007, confidential minutes from the March board meeting of Central Plains Water Limited were leaked to media. The minutes stated that the councils (Christchurch and Selwyn District) must agree to a 'bail out' loan or the scheme would be 'killed'. Central Plains Water later confirmed that the corporate dairy farming company, Dairy Holdings Limited, was prepared to offer a large loan to the scheme. Dairy Holdings Limited operates 57 dairy farms and is owned by Timaru millionaire Allan Hubbard and Fonterra board member Colin Armer.
On 5 June 2007, Christchurch City Council was informed that Central Plains Water Limited had 'a shortfall of $NZ1 million' and had run out of money needed to pay for the expenses of the impending hearings on the applications for the various resource consents.
On 7 June 2007, the Christchurch City Council authorised two Council general managers to approve loan agreements for CPWL to borrow up to a maximum of $4.8 million, subject to the Central Plains Water Trust continuing to 'own' the resource consents, as required by the April 2003 Memorandum of Understanding.
The Malvern Hills Protection Society questioned whether the Central Plains resource consent applications had been offered as security for the $NZ4.8million loan and whether such a loan would breach the 2004 CPW Memorandum of Agreement, which forbids transferring or assigning its interest in the resource consents. Similarly, Ben Dingle, a director of the competing dairying company, Synlait, also questioned the community benefit of the Central Plains project, as the main benefits of irrigation schemes (increased land values and higher-value land-uses) flow to the landowners who have access to the water.
A report to the Christchurch City Council meeting of 13 December 2007 gives the details of the final loan arrangements. On 19 October 2007, two Council general managers signed the loan agreement with Dairy Holdings Limited. The amount initially borrowed from Dairy Holdings Limited is $NZ1.7 million out of a maximum of $4.8 million. The law firm Anthony Harper had certified that the loan was not contrary to the Memorandum of Agreement as the resource consent applications were not used as security. However, the loan agreement grants a sub-licence from CPWL to Dairy Holdings Limited to use the CPW water consents by taking water for irrigation from the Rakaia River. The sub-licence will start from the date the consents are granted to the date that the whole scheme is operational. The Christchurch City councillors voted (eight votes against, five votes for) not to accept the report.
The Central Plains Water Trust applications for resource consents may not have been technically used as security for the loan from Dairy Holdings Limited. However, the Christchurch City Council report clarifies that Dairy Holdings Limited, will now get the benefit of the first use of water from the Rakaia River, under the loan arrangement. That benefit will flow from the date the consents are granted, which will be some years before any of the 'ordinary' farmer shareholders in CPWL receive water, once the full scheme is constructed.
The concept of guaranteed public 'ownership' of the resource consents by Central Plains Water Trust, is somewhat of a fiction, given that a private company, Central Plains Water Limited, has an exclusive licence to operate the consents to take and use water for irrigation, and particularly given that Central Plains Water Limited has already granted a sublicence for the Rakaia River water to Dairy Holdings Limited.
Local government elections October 2007
The Central Plains Water enhancement scheme was the second most important issue in the 2007 Christchurch local government elections, according to a poll of 320 people commissioned by the Christchurch newspaper The Press.
Sally Buck, a Christchurch City Councillor in the Fendalton Waimairi Ward, strongly opposed the Central Plains Water scheme.
Four new regional councillors elected to Canterbury Regional Council opposed the Central Plains Water scheme. The four were: David Sutherland and Rik Tindall, who stood as "Save Our Water" candidates, and independent candidates Jane Demeter and Eugenie Sage.
Defeated regional councillor Elizabeth Cunningham commented that she thought it unlikely that Central Plains Water scheme could be stopped by the new councillors as it was still proceeding to resource consent hearings where the new councillors would have little influence. 
The proposed scheme has a number of environmental impacts. The dam would result in a loss of habitat for the endangered Canterbury mudfish. The dam would also have an impact on amenity and landscape values, especially for the settlement of Coalgate. Water abstraction from the rivers will have an effect on ecology and other natural characteristics. The intensification of farming as a result of water being made available by the scheme has led to fears of increased nitrate contamination of the aquifers.
Canterbury mudfish habitat
In October 2002, staff of the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), were engaged by Central Plains to survey fish populations in the Waianiwaniwa River catchment as part of the investigation into the potential dam site. The survey identified a large and abundant population of Canterbury mudfish that had previously been unknown. NIWA concluded that the dam would be problematic for the mudfish as their habitat would be replaced by an unsuitable reservoir and the remaining waterways would be opened to predatory eels. Although NIWA did no further work for Central Plains Water, much of NIWA's fish survey was included in the assessment of effects on the environment prepared by URS New Zealand Limited. However, a new approach to the effects on the mudfish was included. Mitigation of the loss of habitat would be further evaluated following consultation with the Department of Conservation.
In July 2006, and in January and February 2007, University of Canterbury researchers surveyed the Waianiwaniwa Valley for mudfish. The fish identified ranged from young recruits to mature adult fish, indicating a healthy population. Canterbury mudfish occur in at least 24 kilometres of the Waianiwaniwa River. Also, sites in the Waianiwaniwa Valley accounted for 47% of all fish database records known for Canterbury mudfish (based on mean catch per unit effort). Therefore it was concluded that the Waianiwaniwa catchment is the most important known habitat for this species. Forest and bird's expert witness, Ecologist Colin Meurk concluded that the Waiainiwaniwa catchment "represents the largest known Canterbury mudfish habitat and is substantially larger than any other documented mudfish habitats. A rare combination of conditions makes the Waianiwaniwa River a unique ecosystem and creates an important whole catchment refuge for the conservation of this nationally threatened species".
Angus McIntosh, Associate Professor of Freshwater Ecology in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Canterbury, presented evidence on behalf of the Department of Conservation. He disagreed with the CPW evidence on mudfish. He made three conclsuions:
- The Waianiwaniwa Valley population of Canterbury mudfish (Neochanna burrowsius) is the largest and most important population of this nationally endangered fish in existence.
- The construction of the dam in the Waianiwaniwa Valley will eliminate the natural population and mudfish will not be able to live in the reservoir or any connected streams.
- CPW's proposed measures to mitigate the loss of the Waianiwaniwa population of Canterbury mudfish are inadequate to address the significance and characteristics of the mudfish population that would be lost and are largely undocumented.
The hearing of the applications and submissions
The hearing, to decide the applications for resource consents sought from Canterbury Regional Council and Selwyn District Council and the notice of requirement for designation, commenced on 25 February 2008 and ended on 25 September 2008. The hearing was the largest ever held by Canterbury Regional Council. The hearing panel heard evidence from several hundred submitters on 71 days over a two and a half year period at an expected cost of $2.1 million.
Council Officer’s reports
The summary Canterbury Regional Council report, by Principal Consents Advisor Leo Fietje, did not make a formal recommendation to either grant or decline the applications. However, it concluded, that on the basis of the applicant's evidence and the officer's reviews to date, that some adverse effects cannot be avoided, remedied or mitigated. Uncertainty remains over fish screens, natural character of the Waimakariri River, terrestrial ecology, and effects on lowland streams. Increased nitrate-nitrogen concentrations are considered significant. The loss of endangered Canterbury mudfish habitat due to the dam is considered to be a significant adverse effect. The report notes that any recommendations are not binding on the hearing panel, and that they may reach different conclusions on hearing further evidence.
The summary Selwyn District Council report, by Nick Boyes of Resource Management Group Ltd, recommended declining both the Notice of Requirement and the applications for land use consents. The report also noted that any recommendation was not binding on the hearing panel, and they may reach different conclusions on hearing further evidence. Several reasons for the recommendation were given. CPW has relied on ten management plans to mitigate adverse effects, but has not provided draft copies of any such plans. Insufficient information was provided, despite formal requests, for the Selwyn District Council witnesses to assess the significance of the social effects, the effects on archaeological and heritage values, effects on wetlands and terrestrial ecology, effects on water safety, and the effects on Ngai Tahu statutory acknowledgment areas. The cost-benefit-analysis, which was critical to the farmer-uptake and investment in, and therefore the viability of, the scheme, was considered to lack robustness and to overstate benefits and understate costs.
In resource consent hearings the burden of proof generally falls on the consent applicant to satisfy a hearing panel that the purpose of the Resource Management Act is met by granting rather than refusing consent. Also, a burden of proof lies on any party who wishes a hearing panel (or the Environment Court) to make a determination of adverse or positive effects. A 'scintilla' of probative evidence may be enough to make an issue of a particular adverse effect 'live' and therefore requiring rebuttal if it is not to be found to be established. The Officers' reports, in noting several adverse effects, have moved the burden of proof for rebuttal onto the witnesses for Central Plains Water Trust.
The opening legal submission for Central Plains Water Trust summarised their technical evidence and concluded that any adverse effects of the scheme will either be adequately mitigated or will be insignificant in light of the positive economic benefits of the scheme. The expert witnesses for Central Plains have provided many reports of technical evidence.
Interim decision to decline dam
On 3 April 2009, the Commissioners released a minute stating that consents to dam the Wainiwaniwa River were unlikely to be granted and that the hearing would be resumed on 11 May 2009 to decide whether to proceed with a proposal not including water storage. The minute requested legal submissions on that point. Central Plains Water Limited chairman Pat Morrison stated that the most important short-term goal was to get the water takes from the Waimakariri and Rakaia rivers granted.
Implications for the scheme
CPW responded that the hearing should continue to consider the water take and associated canal consents and the notice of requirement. The Department of Conservation, the Fish and Game Council, the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society and Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu (TRONT) all submitted that the hearing panel should close the hearing and decline all the consents applied for by CPW as these had been presented as an integrated proposal where water storage was fundamental. The Malvern Hills Protection Society recommended declining all applications, noting that CPW had obtained requiring authority status on the basis that the dam and reservoir were essential (para 14). The Society also noted that any water-take consents granted were likely to be ultimately transferred to Dairy Holdings Limited under existing loan agreements (para 29).
Revised divert and irrigate proposal
On 20 May 2009, the Hearing Panel decided that it would continue to hear evidence from CPW on a modified scheme from 5 October 2009. On 30 October 2009, the Commissioners announced that, subject to conditions, they considered they could issue resource consents and grant the Notice of Requirement for the revised scheme. They intended to convene again in early 2010 to finalise consent conditions and to complete a final decision.
Decision June 2010
In June 2010, Environment Canterbury issue a press release stating that the hearing panel had granted 31 consents and the notice of requirement for the revised scheme without the storage dam. The full report of the hearing panel is available on the Environment Canterbury website.
By the end of June 2010, six appeals of the decision had been lodged with the Environment Court. Central Plains Water Trust lodged one of the appeals as applicant in order to change some consent conditions which limit the taking of water to 12 hours a day. Christchurch City Council's appeal was because it considered to much water would be taken from the Waimakariri River which may have an impact on Christchurch's water supply. Fish and Game's appeal was motivated by concern over the Waimakariri River take and 'inadequate' fish screening conditions. Ngāi Tahus appeal concerned the Waimakariri River take and the legality of the change in scope of the consents granted from what had been applied for. Other appellants were a member of the Deans family and some extractors of river gravel.
In July 2012, the resource consents for the scheme were confirmed by the Environment Court.
- Williams, David (13 March 2012). "Irrigator battles TrustPower". The Press. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
- "Central Plains Irrigation scheme all go" (Press release). Central Plains Water Limited. 26 July 2012. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
- Central Plains Water Trust Canterbury Regional Council Resource Consents webpage. Retrieved 6 October 2007.
- URS (2006), Central Plains Water Enhancement Scheme: Assessment of Environmental Effects for Resource Consent Applications to Canterbury Regional Council, Section 3, page 3.18, Prepared for Central Plains Water Trust, 23 June 2006, 42156547.66140 \ AEE R001C, by URS New Zealand Limited.
- URS (2006), Central Plains Water Enhancement Scheme: Assessment of Environmental Effects for Resource Consent Applications to Canterbury Regional Council, Section 3, page 3.24, Prepared for Central Plains Water Trust, 23 June 2006, 42156547.66140 \ AEE R001C, by URS New Zealand Limited.
- Section 3 Description of the Proposed Activities, pages 3–36 to 3-50, URS (2006), Central Plains Water Enhancement Scheme: Assessment of Environmental Effects for Resource Consent Applications to Canterbury Regional Council, Prepared for Central Plains Water Trust, 23 June 2006, Project Manager; Walter Lewthwaite, Project Director; Cliff Tipler, Authors; Mark Mabin, Cliff Tipler, Walter Lewthwaite, Klaus Ohlbock, Daniel Murray, Matthew Gardner, 42156547.66140 \ AEE R001C, by URS New Zealand Limited.
- Fuseworks Media (21 September 2012). "$5m loan to Central Plains Water approved". Voxy. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
- Report of Central Plains Irrigation Steering Committee to Christchurch City Council Strategy and Resources Committee, 14 February 2000. Retrieved 1 October 2007.
- 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.
- 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.
- Trustees - Doug Marsh (Chairperson), Central Plains Water Trust website. Retrieved 5 November 2007.
- Annual Report of Selwyn Plantation Board 2004
- Trustees, Central Plains Water Trust website. Retrieved 5 November 2007.
- Update on Christchurch’s Water Supply Situation, Media Release, 21 January 1999, Christchurch City Council. Retrieved 3 February 2008.
- Minutes of the Christchurch City Council Strategy and Resources Committee 13 September 1999.
- Central Plains Water enhancement steering committee - approval and funding for project continuation 18 February 2002.
- Central Plains Water Enhancement application to the Canterbury Economic Development Fund, Prepared by Cliff Tipler, Stuart Ford, Eddie Thomas, Allan Watson, Willie Palmer, Prepared for Central Plains Water Enhancement Steering Committee, Selwyn District Council and Christchurch City Council, c/- Private Bag 1, Leeston, 5 July 2002, p 6-2.
- My Job Space GHD Civil Draftsperson 'GHD is one of the largest multi-disciplinary management, engineering, environmental, planning and design organizations in Australasia, employing over 400 people throughout New Zealand and over 5,000 globally', Looking for Civil Draftsperson, Apply Before: 14 October 7, Date Listed: 14 September 7. Retrieved 10 October 2007.
- Sustainable Otautahi-Christchurch Newsletter, Volume 1 No 8 October 2006. Retrieved 10 October 2007.
- Central Plains Water Enhancement application to the Canterbury Economic Development Fund, Prepared by Cliff Tipler, Stuart Ford, Eddie Thomas, Allan Watson, Willie Palmer. Authorised by Cliff Tipler, URS New Zealand Limited, Prepared for Central Plains Water Enhancement Steering Committee, Selwyn District Council and Christchurch City Council, c/- Private Bag 1, Leeston, 5 July 2002, p 6-2
- Assessment of Environmental Effects for Resource Consent Applications to Canterbury Regional Council by Central Plains Water Enhancement Scheme, Prepared for Central Plains Water Trust, 23 November 2005, Project Manager; Walter Lewthwaite, Project Director; Cliff Tipler, Authors; Mark Mabin, Cliff Tipler, Walter Lewthwaite, Klaus Ohlbock, Daniel Murray, 42156547.66140\AEE R001B, Reference:42156547\66140\R001B, URS New Zealand Limited.
- URS (2006), Central Plains Water Enhancement Scheme: Assessment of Environmental Effects for Resource Consent Applications to Canterbury Regional Council, Table of Contents, Prepared for Central Plains Water Trust, 23 June 2006, Project Manager; Walter Lewthwaite, Project Director; Cliff Tipler, Authors; Mark Mabin, Cliff Tipler, Walter Lewthwaite, Klaus Ohlbock, Daniel Murray, Matthew Gardner, 42156547.66140 \ AEE R001C, by URS New Zealand Limited.
- Hazardous substances assessment, Memorandum, Date: 8 September 2006, To Selwyn District Council, c/o Nick Boyes, Resource Management Group Ltd, From Walter Lewthwaite (URS), Jeremy Phillips (Urbis), Subject: Central Plains Water; Request for further information on applications for notice of requirement and resource consents: and Central Plains Water Enhancement Scheme: Transport Statement URS New Zealand Limited, Prepared for Central Plains Water Trust, by Walter Lewthwaite, Cliff Tipler, Andrew Whaley. Retrieved 29 October 2007.
- Marty Lucas (10 September 2007). "Hopes drowned by water canal scheme". The New Zealand Farmers Weekly. Archived from the original on 22 October 2010. Retrieved 7 January 2008.
- The need for leadership Murray Rogers, The Water Rights Trust, Opinion, The Press, 12 September 2007.
- 'Council-backed irrigation scheme has uncertain ramifications', Press Release, 8 June 2007, New Zealand Recreational Canoeing Association. Retrieved 1 October 2007. See also Save the Waimakariri, 'About Central Plains Water - A rapacious scheme'. Retrieved 1 October 2007.
- 'The Central Plains Water Enhancement Scheme (CPWE)' Web page of The White Water Canoe Club. Retrieved 1 October 2007.
- 'Plainly Unsustainable - The Central Plains Water Enhancement Scheme', Forest and Bird, August 2003. Retrieved 1 October 2007
- 'Central Plains Water – What you need to know', July 2006, Fish and Game Council of New Zealand web site. Retrieved 1 October 2007
- 'Pull plug on Canterbury water plan' Press Release, Nandor Tanczos MP, Green Party Environment Spokesperson, 5 June 2007. Retrieved 1 October 2007.
- Central Plains Water Background, Canterbury Regional Council web page. Retrieved 21 December 2007.
- Water Enhancement Could Create 4,000 New Jobs in Canterbury, Press Release, 13 December 2000, Central Plains Water Enhancement Steering Committee. Retrieved December 2007.
- Quarterly Report to Strategy and Resources Committee, Author; Allan Watson, Central Plains Water Enhancement Steering Committee, 17 September 2001.
- Central Plains Water Steering Committee Report on Feasibility Study, para 4.5, page 10, 31 pages, **Embargoed until 10:30 am, Thursday 7 February 2002**
- Central Plains Water Enhancement Scheme: Assessment of Environmental Effects for Resource Consent Applications to Canterbury Regional Council, Prepared for Central Plains Water Trust, 23 June 2006, 42156547.66140\AEE R001C, URS New Zealand Limited. p 255.
- More Than Just An Irrigation Scheme John Donkers, AgScience Issue 24, January 2006, The New Zealand Institute of Agricultural & Horticultural Science Inc., ISSN 1175-3927.
- Malvern Hills Protection Society website Frequently asked Questions "According to the latest CPW document on economics: Economic Impact and Cost Benefit Assessment Central Plains Irrigation Scheme May 2007, prepared by Philip Donnelly, the updated total off farm, on farm expenditure is estimated at $682m. The scheme's capital costs are estimated as follows: * Off-farm works $6,826/ha (water to the gate)..."
- Brief of evidence of Walter James Lewthwaite, dated 31 January 2008, paragraph 260. Retrieved 2 March 2008.
- Constitution and Terms of Reference of the Central Plains Water Enhancement Special joint committee.
- Supplementary report by the Chairman of the Strategy and Resources Committee, 22 February 2001, Report by Allan Watson to Strategy and Resources Committee.
- Central Plains Water Enhancement Steering Committee Quarterly Report to Strategy and Finance committee, 18 February 2002.
- Central Plains Water Enhancement Feasibility Study, Prepared for Central Plains Water Enhancement Committee, Selwyn District Council and Christchurch City Council, 31 January 2002, URS New Zealand Ltd, Prepared by Gavin Hulley, David Blackmore, Clive Anderson, Brian Adams, Allen Ingles, John Bright, Gordon Glova, Nick Taylor, David O'Connell, Brett Gamble, Authorised by Cliff Tipler. Conclusion; page 9.14.
- Central Plains Water Steering Committee Report on Feasibility Study, 31 pages, **Embargoed until 10:30 am, Thursday 7 February 2002**
- Ngai Tahu Properties Limited - Decision by Commissioners Philip Milne and Dr Brent Cowie, 21 July 2006.
- Ngai Tahu Property Limited, Decision No.c104/2006, Principal Environment Judge R J Bollard.
- Central Plains Water Trust v Ngai Tahu Properties Limited and anor HC CHCH CIV 2006-409-2116  NZHC 1482 (1 December 2006), In the High Court Of New Zealand Christchurch Registry CIV 2006-409-2116.
- Legal submissions on behalf of Central Plains Water Trust and Central Plains Water Limited, paragraphs 71 & 72, Ed Wylie Q.C., K.G. Smith & R.M. Dunningham, dated 25 February 2008. Retrieved 28 February 2008.
- CPW wins rights to Waimakariri water, By Warren Gamble, The Press, Thursday, 20 March 2008. Retrieved 22 March 2008.
- Supreme Court decision, Ngai Tahu Property Limited v Central Plains Water Trust and Canterbury Regional Council, NZSC 49 SC 15/2008 / 2008, Date of Hearing; 24 June 2008, Date of Judgment; 24 June 2008. Retrieved 2:26 p.m. Sunday, 17 May 2009.
- CPW pursues Rakaia rights Irrigation New Zealand website, 28 March 2007. Retrieved 3 October 2007
- "Synlait to appeal water take ruling". Television New Zealand. 25 May 2007. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- Legal submissions on behalf of Central Plains Water Trust Central Plains Water Limited, paragraph 76, Ed Wylie Q.C., K.G. Smith & R.M. Dunningham, dated 25 February 2008. Retrieved 28 February 2008.
- "Central Plains Water scheme given priority". The New Zealand Herald. 13 March 2008. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- Eleven, Beck (6 June 2007). "CPW scheme sails into turbulent waters". The Press.
- Law, Tina (14 November 2007). "Dairy Holdings accepts $30m offer". The Press. Retrieved 7 December 2007.
- View Full Profile Colin Armer, Fonterra website. Retrieved 26 December 2007.
- 'Central Plains Water Trust', Author: Peter Mitchell, Report for the Christchurch City Council agenda Extraordinary Meeting, Tuesday 5 June 2007, at 3pm in the Council Chamber, Civic Offices.
- Minutes of an extraordinary meeting of the Christchurch City Council, held at 3pm on Tuesday 5 June 2007 and (meantime having been adjourned) reconvened at 11am on Thursday 7 June 2007, public excluded.
- 'Outrage over Central Plains Water loan agreement', Media Release, Malvern Hills Protection Society Inc., 18 July 2007, 2 pages.
- Fights and rights over Canterbury's water, Peter Luke, The Press, 30 June 2007. Retrieved 9 October 2007
- 'Item 5. Central Plains Water Trust issues', Report prepared for the Christchurch City Council meeting of 13 December 2007, Author: Peter Mitchell, Officer responsible: General Manager Regulation and Democracy Services.
- Charlie Gates (15 December 2007). "Council opinion on Central Plains Water changes". The Press. Archived from the original on 3 December 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2007.
- Section 122(1) Resource Management Act 1991 (New Zealand)
- The Resource Management Act 1991 (New Zealand) specifically refers to 'consent holders'. See Sections 120(1)(a), 122, 124, 127, 128, 129, 130, 132, 136, and 138.
- Parker leads but race still open. 'The Press', Christchurch edition, page A3, 26 September 2007.
- 'The Press', 26 September 2007, ibid.
- Central Plains Water (CPW) Scheme on Megan Woods' website. Retrieved 7 October 2007.
- www.sallybuck.co.nz. Retrieved 3 October 2007.
- Gorman, Paul (14 October 2007). "Water fears change ECan, Woods out". The Press. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- Shock defeats shake up ECan factions By Joanna Norris, The Press, 13 October 2007. Retrieved 17 October 2007.
- Canterbury Water Scheme Opposition, Fencepost.com News, 15 October 2007. Retrieved 1 November 2007.
- New Zealand mudfish (Neochanna spp.) recovery plan (Northland, black, brown, Canterbury and Chatham mudfish). 2003. Department of Conservation Threatened Species Recovery Plan 51. 25 p.
- Glova, G.; Duncan, M.; Henderson, R.; Kelly, D.; Walsh, J. 2001. 'Central Plains water enhancement: an assessment of potential environmental effects'. NIWA Client Report: CHC01/85.
- URS (2006), Central Plains Water Enhancement Scheme: Assessment of Environmental Effects for Resource Consent Applications to Canterbury Regional Council, Section 8, page 8.40, para 8.6.5, Prepared for Central Plains Water Trust, 23 June 2006, 42156547.66140 \ AEE R001C, by URS New Zealand Limited.
- Harding, J. S., Norton, D. A. & McIntosh, A. R. (2007) Persistence of a significant population of rare Canterbury mudfish (Neochanna burrowsius) in a hydrologically isolated catchment. 'New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research', 2007, Vol. 41: 309-316, The Royal Society of New Zealand.
- Statement of evidence of Colin Douglas Meurk on behalf of the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand, para 32
- Hearing Evidence - Angus McIntosh Statement of evidence of Angus Ronald McIntosh on behalf of the Director General of Conservation, May 2008. Retrieved 30 June 2008.
- Officer's report into Central Plains Water on web today, Canterbury Regional Council Media Release, 1 February 2008. Retrieved 2 February 2008.
- Daily Hearing Details, Canterbury Regional Council website. Retrieved 22 May 2009.
- Agenda item No 6 Consents Section Report, Regulation Overview Committee Agenda for 26 November 2008, Canterbury Regional Council, viewed 24 November 2008.
- Williams, David (1 July 2010). "CPW owes $455,000 to ECan for hearings". The Press. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- Section 42A Officer s Report, Date of Hearing: 25 February 2008, Report of Leo Fietje. Retrieved 2 February 2008.
-  Section 42A Officer s Report, Prepared by Nick Boyes on behalf of the Selwyn District Council, for Notices of Requirement by Central Plains Water Limited and Applications for Resource Consent by the Central Plains Water Trust. 31 January 2008.
- Carrying the burden: Considering the appropriate evidential tests in resource management decisions, By Claire Kirman, Ellis Gould and Catherine Somerville, Chapman Tripp, Resource Management Journal, August 2006.
- Legal submissions on behalf of Central Plains Water Trust and Central Plains Water Limited, Ed Wylie Q.C., K.G. Smith & R.M. Dunningham, dated 25 February 2008. Retrieved 28 February 2008.
- Applicant's responses to evidence presented, Canterbury Regional Council web site, 4 March 2008. Retrieved 6 March 2008.
- Minute of the Commissioners, 1 April 2009, Canterbury Regional Council website. Retrieved 3 April 2009.
- David Williams (9 April 2009). "Scheme's cost to rise without high dam". The Press. Archived from the original on 10 April 2009. Retrieved 10 April 2009.
- Memorandum of Counsel for the Applicant, May 2009, (uploaded 5 May 2009). Retrieved 15 May 2009.
- Submission Department of Conservation - Memorandum of Counsel, Submission, Fish and Game, Submission, Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand Incorporated Memorandum of Counsel, Legal Submission, Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, 11 May 2009, all retrieved 15 May 2009.
- Submission Malvern Hills Protection Society. Retrieved 15 May 2009.
- 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.
- Minute 11 of Commissioners, Intended decision and primary conclusions in relation to the revised Central Plains Water Trust Irrigation Scheme, 30 October 2009, Canterbury Regional Council website. Retrieved 30 October 2009.
- "Central Plains Water decision released" (Press release). Environment Canterbury. 2 June 2010. Retrieved 26 June 2010.
- Commissioners Milne, Fenemor, Nixon and O'Callaghan (2 June 2010). "Central Plains Water - Full Decision". Environment Canterbury. Retrieved 26 June 2010.
- "Central Plains Water - Decision". Environment Canterbury. 16 June 2010. Retrieved 26 June 2010.
- Williams, David (29 June 2010). "Council appeals 'flawed' decision". The Press (Fairfax New Zealand Limited). Retrieved 29 June 2010.
- Central Plains Water Trust
- Central Plains Water Limited
- Christchurch Library - CPW page
- Selwyn District Council - CPW page
- Canterbury Regional Council - details of the CPW applications to Canterbury Regional Council for resource consents
- Canterbury Water Management Strategy - an initiative by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Ministry for the Environment and Environment Canterbury