June 29, 2015
Tough rules cast doubt on central Hawkes Bay dam
A plan to create a massive irrigation scheme in central Hawkes Bay has taken a massive hit with a board of inquiry setting tough environmental conditions.
The Ruataniwha Dam project promoted by the Hawkes Bay Regional Council’s investment company has been opposed by Ngati Kahungunu Inc and environmentalists, but has drawn support from some hapu in the locality.
Ikaroa Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri says the strict level of dissolved nitrogen set by the Tukituki Catchment Board of Inquiry casts doubt on the financial viability of the project.
She says in some parts of the catchment the nitrogen level is already twice the limit that must be in place by 2030, making more intensive farming hard to achieve.
Environmental Defence Society chair Gary Taylor says there is not much headroom for further nitrogen runoff.
He says the farmers who are being asked to invest in the scheme are likely to evaluate the project risks much more carefully than the council has, given it’s their own money and not that of ratepayers.
Copyright © 2015, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com