The Environment Court has granted TrustPower Limited a 35-year resource consent for operating the Matahina Hydropower Scheme using a modified operating regime.

Resource consent conditions require increased monitoring and five-yearly reviews, with changes to resource conditions if warranted. TrustPower will significantly increase its financial contribution to flood protection.

TrustPower has been granted increased ramping rates (how fast downstream river levels are allowed to rise and fall), and multiple peaking (changes in downstream flow). However, it has not been granted all the changes they requested in their original application, most notably the proposed low flow in the Rangitaiki.

TrustPower currently makes a financial contribution toward the river scheme. The court decision means that contribution will significantly increase. TrustPower will also pay a one-off financial contribution to recover costs for the 2010/2011 floods.

The resource consent also requires TrustPower to work with the Regional Council’s Natural Hazards Group to pre-lower the Matahina dam further in advance of a significant flood.

This will maximise floodwater storage in the dam, and reduce the flood peak downstream.

Kua whakaae te kooti Taiao kia noho te mana whakahaere o te waahi kati wai o Matahina Hydropower Scheme ki te roopuTrust Power Limited mo te toru tekau ma rima tau. Ia rima tau ka whakamatauria te waahi kati wai, a, ma te roopu Trust Power Limited nga kaupapa e utu mehemea ka waipuketia te waahi. Heoi tera tetahi o nga patai i whakakorengia i roto i a ratou hiahia, hei whakaiti i te wai e rere atu ana ki te awa o Te Rangitaiki. Kua takoto hoki te manuka e utu ai te roopu kaitiaki i nga nama mai i te waipuketanga i nga e toru kua pahure ake nei. Ka aratakitia te kaunihera a rohe me Natural Hazards Group i a ratou hei whakaiti i te wai e rere atu ana ki te awa e pare atu ai te kaha waipuke o te takiwa.