The agreement between a group of Twyford land owners and the Hawke's Bay Regional Council to end their irrigation bans is on hold.

The unconfined-zone global consent between the parties was announced earlier this month, but the council's hearings committee heard this week it was not finally operative and remains on hold pending applications to transfer the water into it.

Committee member and councillor Peter Beaven said council was waiting for growers to agree to bring their individual consents into the company that was formed to process them under the agreement. He believed the harvest period may have slowed the process up as that's where growers' focus was at.

He said there was "absolutely" a reason why landowners will need to be a part of the global consent - it will give them access to emergency water.


He said what sparked the need for the global consent to be written was because the water taken from the unconfined aquifer bores was regarded as surface depleting.

"And so as the minimum flowrate in the Ngaruroro river drops below, I think it is 2.4 cumecs, they all go on ban," he said.

The global consent comes three years after a total water ban sparked grower outcry and public protests that saw 300 tractors driven through the streets.