Environment Canterbury receives water bottling decision from Court of Appeal

Environment Canterbury received the decision of the Court of Appeal on its grant of consents for Cloud Ocean Water Limited and Rapaki Natural Resources Limited to carry out water bottling activities at plants previously used for other industrial activities.

In 2020, the High Court upheld the grant of the consents, but Aotearoa Water Action Inc appealed the Court’s decision to the Court of Appeal.

The decisions granting the consents were set aside. Chief Executive Stefanie Rixecker said Environment Canterbury was considering the implications of the decision.

 "We have been working according to the High Court decision since it was delivered and were reassured by that Court’s view that our processes were robust," she said.

The Court of Appeal’s decision turned on whether applications for the take and use of water must be considered together. It was noted that this issue had not previously been addressed by that Court.

"This is evidently a significant decision which will have implications well beyond water bottling," Dr Rixecker said. "We now need to take the time to consider what those implications may be, particularly in terms of our consents processing."

Having reached its conclusion, the Court set aside the resource consents held by Cloud Ocean Water and Rapaki Natural Resources.

The Court also noted that it was "unnecessary for us to go on to consider the other issues raised about the impact of selling water in plastic bottles and the adverse effects on cultural values arising from the water bottling activity.

"Nor is it now relevant to consider whether the Council’s decisions to deal with the applications without requiring notification or limited notification were also unlawful".

Read the full decision (PDF File, 463.8KB).