The Minister for the Environment Marian Hobbs has annouced that she is to establish a Special Tribunal to hear an application to modify the Buller Water Conservation Order. The Buller Water Conservation Order provides varying degrees of protection for parts of the Buller River and its tributaries, which are considered to have outstanding characteristics. The proposal affects the Gowan River (a tributary of the Buller). The application from Majac Trust requests that the Order be amended to allow it to apply to the Tasman District Council for resource consent to divert water from the Gowan River for a Hydroelectric power scheme. The water would then be returned to the river approximately 3.5km before the Gowan and the Buller Rivers join. The members of the Special Tribunal will be appointed in early 2004, after which the tribunal will call for submissions on the proposal.