An investigation has found a pipeline taking water for export on the West Coast will cut through the habitat of three native species – a rare penguin, the Hector’s dolphin and New Zealand’s most endangered kiwi.
The tawaki is known as the rainforest penguin, because it likes to live in the bush. It is thought to be the second rarest penguin in the world. Its population has dropped to 4000.
Now a colony at Jackson Bay is threatened by a pipeline that wants to take fresh water for export.
A company, Alpine Pure, has consent for the pipeline to take water from Mt Aspiring down to a water storage area next to the penguin colony – and is seeking consent to take it five kilometres out to sea to a floating platform.
The final stretch out into the Bay will cut right through the natural habitat of the penguin.
And if the pipeline gets into Jackson Bay – there will be a “monobuoy” to hold the water.
Tankers will be alongside it and take the water offshore, in an area that’s home to the rare Hector’s Dolphin.
The pipeline is already cutting through a sanctuary for New Zealand’s rarest kiwi – the Haast tokoeka.
Prime Minister Bill English thinks the extention plan is unlikely.