Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) should dump the Ruataniwha Dam proposal, as it has barely scraped together enough interested farmers to use the scheme, the Green Party said today.
“The Ruataniwha Dam has become a farce and should be called off,” said Green Party water spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.
“HBRIC has only just scraped together farmers to commit to use 43 million cubic metres of water, when they need subscribers for 45 million cubic metres of water to make the project viable.”
Earlier this month it was revealed it will cost nearly $1 billion to build the dam, much of that money coming from public funding through the Irrigation Acceleration Fund and Hawkes Bay Regional Council. ACC is believed to be in the mix.
“HBRIC haven’t secured the land they need for the project and are relying on public money to prop the project up.
“HBRIC should call the project off or they’ll end up with a white elephant water scheme that costs the public.
“This irrigation scheme will only make the water more polluted; most of the rivers in the Tukituki catchment where the dam is proposed to be built, are already polluted and exceed acceptable nitrate levels.
“Destroying precious rivers to fit more cows and other irrigation-dependent land uses on the land is exactly the wrong way to spend public money,” said Ms Delahunty.