[7 June/Radio NZ]

Northland was looking to become the avocado capital of New Zealand after the granting of water rights for growers north of Kaitaia. Seventeen growers were given resource consents to draw 2 million cubic metres of water a year from the Aupouri aquifier. Nearly 1,000 hectares of trees were being planted in avocados on the peninsula. Avocado Council Chief Executive, Jen Scoular, said it was good news for the industry that the growers had the water they needed. The Conservation Department were opposed to the water take and said there was not enough known about the aquifer to allow so many growers to plug into it. It was worried about the impact on protected wetlands. Far North conservationists were sceptical saying the consents effectively gave grower’s permission to suck the water and see.