Dodgy Socialist Dam misses another deadline

Surely the Hawkes Bay Regional Council is going to have to call time after they missed another drop dead date for the dodgy Ruataniwha Water Storage Scam Sheme.

The self-imposed deadline for the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s investment company to complete the business case for the Ruataniwha Dam is today – and it has fallen short, Labour says.

Labour water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri said the Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) had sold only about half the minimum amount of water it needed to make construction viable.

Ms Whaitiri said it still had not announced any cornerstone investors to replace Trustpower and Ngai Tahu, who had pulled out.

She said she would not be surprised but would be very disappointed if the deadline was pushed out again.

“At some point it has to be said that enough is enough. To meet the water-contract threshold, farmers needed to sign up for 45 million cubic metres. A few days ago HBRIC said only about 25 million cubic metres of water, or just over 55 percent of the target, had been sold.  

“We are over five years into this project, [the] council has already spent about $15 million of ratepayers’ money on the development, and yet HBRIC is still scrambling at the last minute to find the necessary water uptake to satisfy its conditions.”

She said the lack of a compelling business case was why Trustpower and Ngai Tahu had walked away – and why they had still not been replaced as cornerstone investors.

“Ratepayers are being put through a very drawn-out process because HBRIC still hasn’t met the requirements of a sound investment.

“I sincerely hope that, today, the council is taking a long hard look at the future of this scheme, rather than using the time to come up with more excuses to push out deadlines.”

No one from HBRIC was available for comment this morning.

They have failed at every step of the way with this scheme.

Failed in the courts and failed with the business case, failed the environment. There isn’t a single institutional investor, which says a lot. Ngai Tahu and Trustpower bailed. Farmers haven’t signed up.

It’s time to call it quits.


– Radio NZ

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