May 05, 2016
Dam builders face ballot box battle
The battle over the Ruataniwha Dam project is moving to the ballot box.
Newly reelected Ngati Kahungunu chair Ngahiwi Tomoana says the iwi’s opposition to the $333 million scheme to irrigate part of central Hawke’s Bay has got wide support.
He says Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and its regional investment company aren’t listening to the wider community, which opposes the project of economic, cultural and environmental grounds.
The council is up for election in October.
"Some members that are standing are vowing if they are successful they will overturn the Ruataniwha dam and sack the investment part of the regional council. It's the best way we can take it to ensure that this political corporate doesn't continue on its merry way ignoring the will of the people and especially ignoring the iwi", says Mr Tomoana.
Ngahiwi Tomoana says while local government in the region is pulling out all the stops for a small group of farmers, it still hasn’t hooked up the predominantly Maori community of Bridge Pa up to the Hastings water supply.
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