The Auckland company that withdrew its controversial application to build a water bottling plant at Poroti Springs has lodged another consent request.

Zodiac Holdings has applied for Whangarei District Council consent for a loading facility at its property near the springs, from which it has rights to extract up to 2.5 million litres a day.

The company wants the council to consider the loading facility as a permitted activity, comparable to milk tankers collecting from dairy farms, horticulture products collected for the packhouse, and logging trucks.

The application claims the facility would not be a commercial activity as it would not involve display or sales at the site; nor industrial, as no processing would be done nor would products be stored at the site.


Restricted discretionary status would apply because the structure would be less than three metres from the boundary, and also because of parking requirements.

Longtime opposer of Zodiac Holdings' water rights and subsequent consent requests, Whatitiri Maori Reserve Trust member and waterways protection advocate Milan Ruka, called the latest consent request ''reckless and unprofessional''.

He said of concern was the fact a loading bay would see 15 tanker movements in and out each day.

Mr Ruka is also upset the application was lodged just before the Christmas and New Year break, when much of the statutory timeframe would be eaten up by holidays.

He said there was a risk the consent could be ''ticked off'' by a staff member when, in his opinion, it should be assessed by both the Whangarei District and Northland Regional councils.

Zodiac Holdings' managing director Paul Thomson was unavailable for comment.
He had earlier said objectors to the company's plans were ignoring local employment opportunities.

In October, a day before the new coalition Government announced that royalties could be charged on bottled water exports, Zodiac pulled the plug on the bottling plant application.

Zodiac had given consideration to a range of commercial drivers, and also submissions to the land use consent application for the plant, Mr Thomson said.


He said the company was instead considering establishing the bottling operation at the industrial park near Marsden Pt, Ruakaka.