Ngai Tahu out of Ruataniwha dam

MARTA STEEMAN
Last updated 17:27 19/05/2014

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Ngai Tahu Holdings Corporation has withdrawn as an investor in the controversial $275 million Ruataniwha water storage scheme in Hawke's Bay.

Ngai Tahu said it had a series of criteria that needed to be met for continued investment, including the right investment partner with the appropriate experience.

Electricity firm TrustPower, which has a lot of experience with dam storage and irrigation, withdrew from the investment in March. It said the project did not stack up with the level of returns the company required from new investments.

Ngai Tahu said because a replacement investor to TrustPower had not been found, Ngai Tahu had ended its memorandum of understanding with the Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC).

Both Ngai Tahu and TrustPower had been considering $50m investments.

The Hawke's Bay Regional Council last month asked for more time to consider the board of inquiry's 1000-page draft decision on the massive scheme.

The council said then the draft resource consents would cost about $50m in lost GDP between now and 2050.

At the end of April the regional council voted to shift the deadline for a decision on the dam project to September 30, three months later than initially planned.

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