Things are getting tense in Hawkes Bay over the extremely dodgy socialist dam the regional council is pushing.
Local MPs are getting skittish over it all as it comes to crunch time.
Local MPs are outraged by the “complete lack of transparency” they say the regional council showed, committing ratepayers to a $35 million buy into the Ruataniwha Dam with no public consultation.
At this week’s general meeting, council approved a “provisional decision” on entering the region into a 35-year water user agreement, subject to the scheme proceeding.
The proposal was put forward for the benefits it might yield in regards to the augmentation of environmental flows, such as increased flushing flows for the mainstream rivers.
This decision has sparked outcry from Labour MPs Stuart Nash and Meka Whaitiri, the latter saying: “It’s time to accept that Ruataniwha is more sham than dam.”
Mr Nash said if the regional council was transparent and went out to the community for feedback he believed they would get the buy-in of the people who had actually elected them in.
“This complete lack of transparency is a real concern to me,” he said.
“And the reason I say that is because this is the sort of behaviour of an organisation that has something to hide.”
He said it was this sort of behaviour that made people suspicious of council’s motives.
“The secrecy … it’s not democratic and it’s not the way New Zealanders do business, and it’s not the way New Zealanders expect their elected officials to do business,” he said.
Ms Whaitiri said HBRIC (the investment arm of council) was now effectively asking council and ratepayers to sell water to themselves.
“It’s hard to escape the conclusion that HBRIC’s water user agreement offer to council is a desperate measure for the investment company to meet its water sign-up targets,” she said.
“I’m calling on HBRIC and the regional council to provide concrete assurances to Hawke’s Bay ratepayers now or get out of this deal.”
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