More socialism to promote the dodgy socialist dam

The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and the Government seem willing to stop at nothing to get the dodgy socialist dam built.

Fresh from revelations that they are trying to sign up farmers with a five year grace period where they only pay 5c a cumec instead of the 26c a cumec which is allegedly the true cost.

Part of this dodginess is to give iwi $20m extra in their treaty settlement to invest in the dam. There are two taniwha (Ruataniwha) after all that need feeding.

Sources inside the Treaty Negotiations Ministers office say that the extra $20m above what was originally offered was a huge surprise to the Iwi, though they are not sure whether to accept it. 

He Toa Takitini’s in-principle treaty settlement agreement includes the option for Heretaunga-Tamatea Maori to take a $20 million stake in the Ruataniwha water storage scheme.

But the group is divided over whether to take up the investment if the controversial Central Hawke’s Bay irrigation project goes ahead.

HTT chairman David Tipene-Leach told a Hastings District Council meeting last week that working to improve water quality in the region was a key priority for his organisation.

“Given that we are also very interested in economic development, you can imagine that we are in the same place as everybody else trying to balance those two things, particularly with the present kafuffle that is happening around the Ruataniwha water storage scheme,” he said. “He Toa Takitini, its members and the Maori community of Hawke’s Bay are almost as divided as the non-Maori community about the dam.”

This must be very annoying for the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, who have carefully cultivated a couple of Uncle Toms in the hope they will sell out their iwi to see the dam built.

If iwi are so concerned about water quality, rather than investing in the dam, which will turn the Tukituki toxic, they should instead be holding the HBRC to account for their gross negligence in failing to enforce current pollution of the rivers.


– Hawkes Bay Today


THANK YOU for being a subscriber. Because of you Whaleoil is going from strength to strength. It is a little known fact that Whaleoil subscribers are better in bed, good looking and highly intelligent. Sometimes all at once! Please Click Here Now to subscribe to an ad-free Whaleoil.

  • Peter

    I went down to Hawkes Bay yesterday and visited the site. I went and talked to croppers, orchardists and farmers, one of the dam representatives, a banker, and some private citizens. I have also previously talked to one of the fish and game people who strongly oppose the dam (the only one I could find). With the exception of Fish & Game every local person that I spoke to was unanimously in favor of the dam. Their reasons were:

    – It improve the quality and quantity of the Tukituli river

    – it will provide a huge economic benefit to the area, the region, and the country as a whole.

    I have now read the reports and various information available. Also Plan change 6 which should be considered with the RWSS. Plan change 6 in conjunction with the RWSS address the water allocation issues to the region that have affected water quantity and quality.

    My conclusion is:
    – Its way more than a dam and some pipe to some farmers.

    – the Tukituki river water quality and quantity will be improved through the Ruataniwha scheme and Plan change 6. The river will not become toxic. If anything the water quality and quantity will greatly improve

    – It is not about ‘120 farmers’. It about providing water to around 25,000 ha of land.

    – It is about providing water not just to dairy farmers, but all types of agricultural ventures. Of which around 30% is expected to be dairy, 30% arable, 30% horticulture

    – while there will be a direct economic benefit to the land owners, there will also be a huge economic benefit to the region. and from there to the country as a whole

    – It will open up opportunities to grow high value crops such as beetroot and garlic which need the surety of water supply. These crops will yield far higher returns than the simple drought resistant crops currently grown.

    There has been a substantial consultation process on all aspects of the scheme: cultural, economic environmental and this has been represented in the scheme.

    – The council are the entity best positioned to initiate the scheme. In particular councils have the responsibility to manage the regions resources, are well set up to provide for long term schemes such as this.

    We should all get behind this scheme. I am. I am going to make every effort I can and where possible to make this scheme a success.

    • Peter

      I also forgot to add that the scheme also incorporates a lot of initiatives to minimize nutrient runoff from farms. These are being looked into or implemented elsewhere in the country and use well established nutrient management tools such as OVERSEER

      • OVERSEER was laughed out of the Board of Inquiry

        • Peter

          Really? I seriously doubt that. As a nutrient management tool, OVERSEER is probably the best model we have right now in NZ

        • Peter

          The issues as I understand Them arise out of technical issues over the consultation process that led to certain resource consent conditions, and also the difference between plan change 6 and certain conditions in the consent.
          From what I understand applying DIN levels of 0.5mg/l over the river system would require most farmers in the catchment to cease farming altogether – whether the dam goes ahead or not. And if the rule was applied elsewhere in the country, to those regions as well. Of course certain lobby groups would welcome that, but the economic and human implications are massive.
          DIN (dissolved inorganic Nitrogen) varies widely in a river system. It is contentious whether it is the sole and direct indicator of river health. The science in this is unproven. It may that Phosphorus is more important.
          The proven measure of river health is MCI, or macroinvertebrate community index. Councils seem to look at the change in MCI to indicate trends in river health. MCI seems to be affected by many factors: altitude, distance from the sea, toxicants, nutrient levels (N,P,K), instream temperature and dissolved oxygen, habitat quality. A lot of these factors vary over the river system and over time, and their degree of influence would also vary.
          OVERSEER is used by farmers to balance the nutrients into and out of a farm, some of which may pass to a waterway depending on range of physical factors.
          From what I see the issues with the consent lie around figuring out setting the right limits for farmers to work to so the conditions of the consent are not exceeded and river health conditions are met.
          This is something all councils are grappling with tight now.

    • You really need to talk to more than just Fenton and his pals.

      You are dead wrong on so many respects.

      The Board of Inquiry even did the work you have failed to do, saying the exact opposite with regards to water quality. The plan is turn the tukituki toxic, how is that improving water quality?

      How about you chuck your money into the scheme, or even issue a prospectus outlining all the benefits and get people to invest…if it as good as you say the share issue will be over subscribed.

      You won;t of course, because like many of the supporters you aren’t prepared to put your money where your mouth is.

    • While you are at it why after that long dissertation did you not add that you have a potential conflict of interest in that you supply solutions for agricultural irrigation and was visiting as it is likely that you will be bidding for all those pumping stations, pipework etc as per your own website.

      • Peter

        Yes I mentioned in a previous comment that I have spent the last ten years or so designing, selling, installing irrigation, dairy effluent, and land treatment systems for waste water. Basically trying to keep nutrients out of our waterways AND make or at least save money for my clients. The idea is to make change from within the system. Whether the scheme goes ahead or not will not affect my business really one way or another at this stage, although it would be good to be involved. It to me is an exciting and progressive project and what the area needs and why I got into this business in the first place.
        Not too interested in the politics of it sorry and I don’t know the various personalities involved.. However from my point of view the science and the engineering stacks up and that is most important to me.
        Much of the consent and inquiry stuff seems to me pretty normal especially for a scheme of this size and complexity. Its a healthy process and I think the process allows full discovery and evaluation and reasonable conditions to be determined. There is always a bit of argy bargy in the process. Part of the problem is probably that the Plan change 6 came out after RWSS scheme RCA and they still seem to be working through that. At the end of the day should this process halt the scheme as unworkable then fine, the people have spoken. Just wouldn’t want it to be derailed by politics or unproven science.
        At the end of the day I am taking a position like you, but based on what I know and my experience with this sort of thing. Apologies for the dissertations!

        • Peter

          What might be useful is a focus on what our towns and cities do with their waste water.

          • Which is what I am also doing, but the hypocrites at HBRC are at the same time as promoting a dam that will turn the Tukituki toxic are also prosecuting another council for their waste treatment.

            Fix the town waste treatment first, then put a plan together that doesn’t replace town waste with farm waste.

          • Peter

            Why not fix both.

        • The science and engineering doesn’t stack up and your lack of interest in the politics of it means you haven’t bothered to read what the board in inquiry found, whose job it was to wade through the science and engineering.

          They found the proposal dodgy. And the council was wrong on their nutrient management programme and that they misled the inquiry.

          But hey, you have bucks to make so you’ll accept anything.

          Perhaps you should read the report then start again with your commenting.

  • cows4me

    I guess you’ll have to be adding the dodgy socialist convention center to the list to.

    • you bet Cows, corporate welfare is welfare, bludging is bludging.

      I’ve come out strongly against SkyCity’s bludging.