A local Twyford orchardist has expressed his concerns about the WCO, fearing that if it's passed as it stands he won't be able to continue functioning as a grower.

RJ Flowers Ltd manager John Evans said he acknowledged that everyone had to share the resource and the environment was important to look after but felt there needed to be a balance.

"My understanding of the order was that if it was put in place as it was applied for we wouldn't be able to water our crops during the summer. If we can't do that then I don't see how we can function as a grower."

His favoured option was to continue supporting the regional council's TANK initiative, so it could put forward recommendations based on listening to everyone's needs.


"The trouble is the river starts in the hills and once it comes down to the flat it's supplying the aquifer that supplies Napier, Hastings, industry, horticulture and agriculture, it's pretty huge."

RJ Flowers is made up of 80ha of apples, pears and kiwifruit and is a family operation, which hires between 50 to 120 employees, depending on the time of year.

"The impact could be pretty big as essentially we wouldn't be able to commercially do what we are doing."

A concern for Mr Evans was also based around the technicality of consents.

He said he understood that the WCO wouldn't impact existing consents, however when one was renewed or reapplied for the restrictions would come into play.

"At the end of the day we won't know what is true or false til the hearing process but council is saying that when a consent expires and is reapplied for it becomes deemed as a new one."

He then read a story from Forest and Bird saying that wasn't the case.

"Council accesses the merits of consents but I guess time will tell who's right and who's wrong."

However, he understood there had been a lot of reported facts that people were debating whether they were true or not and from an orchardist point of view they wouldn't know the full effects until it goes through the hearing process.

"What I have been saying is only what I believe is going to happen and is my own personal view. Our understanding is growing day by day and I don't think anyone has a full understanding of it until it goes through the courts."