Majac Trust is seeking to amend the Buller river Water Conservation Order, altering the minimum flow regime on the Gowan river, a tributary of the Buller. The trust wants to apply for a resource consent for enough water from the Gowan to operate a hydroelectric scheme.

But anglers and recreational users of the river oppose the proposed diversion for hydro power. The Buller Water Conservation Order 2001 provides varying degrees of protection for parts of the Buller and its tributaries, which are considered to have outstanding characteristics.

Environment minister Marian Hobbs has appointed a three member tribunal to consider the application.