Time to pull the plug on Ruataniwha dam

A lack of farmer support for the Ruataniwha dam proposal is yet another reason to pull the plug, the Green Party said today. 

New information coming to light from Radio New Zealand shows that many of the farmers who stand to directly benefit from the dam’s subsequent water, can’t make a sound business case for their farm with the increased cost.

“With few farmers willing to buy into the scheme it doesn’t make any sense to build this environmentally destructive dam,” Green Party water spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said.

“The financial viability of the proposed dam relies on a mammoth leap of faith by all involved. With many farmers unconvinced of the financial benefits, it is wrong for the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council to plan to spend $80million of ratepayer’s money.

“Milk prices are currently at $4.50/kg of milk solids, and it makes the business case for the dam for local dairy farmers unsustainable. It is clear that other producers are also doubtful of the dam business case.

 “We’ve opposed the Ruataniwha dam because of the detrimental effect more intensive farming will have on the catchment and the cost to the local community. These compromises don’t even come with a financial payoff, and the question has to be asked: When will the Regional Council pull the plug?”

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