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Environment Canterbury to appeal Dewhirst decision related to definition of “riverbed”

Environment Canterbury is to appeal the December 2018 High Court decision,Dewhirst Land Company Ltd v Canterbury Regional Council to the Court of Appeal.

ECan says the decision to appeal is felt to be necessary to ensure clarity for all – including landowners, communities and river users – on a point of law that has wide-reaching implications and which is central to Environment Canterbury’s work in protecting the region’s much-valued braided rivers

They say the decision to appeal is not about undertaking a ‘land grab’, nor is it about reducing property ownership or pursuing a single defendant through the courts. Rather, it is to gain much-needed clarity on the legal definition of a “riverbed”.

ECan says while existing policy and rules are in place, the struggle is to apply these when it is unclear the areas in which our rivers can remain in their natural state. Landowners who do have land within areas defined as riverbed may have to gain resource consent in the future for certain activities.

Read the full release and some background