Council agrees on $80m dam investment

Last updated 12:23 25/06/2014

Relevant offers


John Key commits $20 million to help reduce agriculture emissions Lambs born this spring down to lowest level for 62 years GPS and surveillance helps police catch farm thieves South Canterbury water use investigation to cost $636,000 - MPI Environmental and demand studies begin on Wairarapa irrigation project What you need to know about frozen berries and Hepatitis A Master Plan for Auckland's Cornwall Park revealed Waikato dairy farmers disgusted at abusive behaviour National Agricultural Fieldays boss Jon Calder resigns to head law firm Fonterra sign deal to manufacture Aussie infant formula

Hawke's Bay regional councillors agreed to invest up to $80 million in the controversial Ruataniwha dam today.

Each of the nine councillors spoke to the staff recommendation to proceed with the investment provided certain conditions were met, voting six to three in favour.

A crowd of about 40 people attended the meeting.

A government-appointed board of inquiry has already released a draft decision on the $275 million scheme and is due to make a final decision on the resource consent application by the end of the week.

The dam, which would irrigate 25,000 hectares in Hawke's Bay, has become a symbol of the ''economics v environment'' argument, with some critics saying the board's draft decision has swung too far in favour of the environment.

The decision contained restrictions on how much nitrogen could leach into the Tukituki River catchment from surrounding farms and horticulture operations, which one regional council paper said would remove ''the ability of the [Ruataniwha dam] to be a viable commercial model'' and result in a regional loss of about $50m a year.

For the project to go ahead it will need substantial investment from institutional investors and water supply contracts with farmers for at least 40 million cubic metres of water a year.

Ngai Tahu Holdings Corporation and Trustpower pulled out of their possible $100m investment in the scheme in April.

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post


Special offers
Opinion poll

Is it time for authorities to introduce tougher penalties for poaching?



Vote Result

Related story: Booby traps for poachers cost farmers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content

Agri e-editions

Digital editions

Read our rural publications online