Leave to appeal granted in water-bottling decision
The Supreme Court of New Zealand has granted leave to Cloud Ocean Water Limited to appeal the Court of Appeal’s decision on Environment Canterbury granting resource consents to Cloud Ocean and Rapaki Natural Resources for water bottling purposes.
Aotearoa Water Action Inc argued before the Court of Appeal that Environment Canterbury unlawfully granted resource consents by failing to separately consider the water take from the use it was taken for. The Court of Appeal determined that under Environment Canterbury’s planning documents it was required to consider the take and use together.
The latest decision by the Supreme Court means a hearing will now take place to determine if the Court of Appeal was correct in ruling that Environment Canterbury did not have the legal grounds to grant the consents.
The hearing is anticipated to occur in March 2023, with a decision expected later in the year.
The application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court was made by Cloud Ocean. Environment Canterbury did not seek leave to appeal the Court of Appeal’s decision and wasn’t part of Cloud Ocean’s application for leave to appeal.
We will, however, follow through in our legal duties as a relevant party in the upcoming hearing process.
Environment Canterbury recognises that this matter has been proceeding before the Courts for some time, and welcomes any further certainty the Supreme Court may provide in its final determination of the case.
What this means for current consent applications
Until any decision is made by the Supreme Court, consents will be processed in line with the Court of Appeal’s recent decision.
Based on the timings around the hearing in March and an expected date for the Supreme Court’s decision, we will work with relevant consent applicants on a case-by-case basis to determine the most appropriate approach for processing their consent applications.