BREAKING NEWS
Third round technical knockout for Joseph Parker ... Read more
Close

Tractor rally a water restrictions flow-on

TRACEY CHATTERTON
Last updated 05:00 19/09/2013
Hastings tractor protest
JOHN COWPLAND/Fairfax NZ

GETTING TRACTION: The tractor protest winds its way through Hastings.

Relevant offers

Hawke's Bay

Englishman gets dying wish by finding home for his classic car at Hawke's Bay museum Taradale teen wins four years of Rockquest titles Council staff furious at CEO's 11 per cent rise when they were offered just 1.7 per cent Hawke's Bay girl hits the road to help Hospice New Napier police station on track for December Animal inspired art exhibition opens Demolition of Aniwaniwa visitors centre at Lake Waikaremoana nears completion Iron artist opens Hastings craft themed exhibition Trubridge donates shade design inspired by Hawke's Bay peak Residents fear door-to-door fraudsters are looking for Hawke's Bay victims

Hundreds of tractors clogged the streets of Hastings yesterday as growers displayed their dissatisfaction with regional council members.

The Grower Action Group organised the protest as part of its campaign to throw out the incumbent Hawke's Bay Regional Council because of its hardline stance on riverflow limits.

About 500 people gathered yesterday to listen to the group's grievances. Spokesman Paul Paynter said the council threatened people's livelihoods when it blocked water takes during last summer's drought.

"Water is the lifeblood of Hawke's Bay. It was a terrorist act."

In 2011, the council imposed a minimum flow rate of 2400 litres a second for the Ngarororo River and Raupare Stream after it found taking water from the groundwater bores near the waterways affected their flows.

Previously the water takes were not tied to the river's flow.

Last summer's drought meant water was turned off for several periods.

The council maintains that the flow limits are needed to protect ecology of the rivers. It is funding a study to investigate the impact of each water take in the area.

Mr Paynter said the jury was out on how damaging the water restrictions were to this season's crops. Trees had died or been badly damaged by the lack of water, which cut grower incomes and hurt the regional economy.

The group is calling for change and backing a group of council candidates who sympathise with its view. Some members had provided financial backing to their preferred candidates, who were Rick Barker, Peter Beaven, Rex Graham, Tom Belford and Ngahiwi Tomoana.

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post

Special offers
Opinion poll

How many coffees do you have a day?

5 or even more

3-4

2

1

Anything from 1-5.

Don't touch the stuff.

Vote Result

Related story: Coffee as we know it at risk of dying

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content