Dodgy socialist dam running out of time

The dodgy socialists at the Hawkes Bay Regional Council getting desperate.

They are just days away from the deadline, that has slipped previously, for signing up the required commitments for water uptake.

We know they are getting desperate because they have revised their offering price for the water.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s Investment Company (HBRIC) said whether 45 million cubic metres of water was contracted would decide whether the $600m scheme goes ahead.

Recent figures showed HBRIC had just over 30 million cubic metres of water contracted.

HBRIC said new foundation water user agreements had been sent out to farmers with the revised water price of 27.5 cents.

The deadline for farmers to sign up as a Foundation Water User was 18 April.

HBRIC has had several deadlines in the past for farmers to sign up and all have passed without achieving the minimum amount of water sales required.  

I fully expect to the Council to release jimmied statistics and have used subterfuge to make the threshold for water commitments.

HBRC is now relying on town water sales rather than farm water sales to make the threshold.

Meanwhile councillors who back the dam are being slammed in the HB Today by a Greenie farmer and chair of CHB Forest & Bird, Dan Elderkamp.

[Alan Dick] accuses us of being ideologically opposed to farming – really? I’m a farmer, Alan, and I love it! What we do oppose is toxic farming – pollution of groundwater and rivers for profit, and the ideology that this water is there for HBRIC and its mates to exploit, regardless of how it affects other water and river users downstream. Neither are we anti-irrigation. After all, grape growers and horticulturalists irrigate their vines and orchards but need vastly less water than dairying, which uses 800 to 1000 litres of water to make just one litre of milk. We need smarter, targeted irrigation, not more dairy farms. In fact, without dairy the dam is not viable, so the argument can be made that HBRIC is promoting farming methods that use vast quantities of water wastefully to reach their target.

Thirdly, he spins the tired illusion that the dam will offer “major environmental gains” – this is quite laughable, to be kind. There’s a list of ecologists and environmental scientists as long as my arm who will disprove Alan’s claims. The only gains that there might possibly be is to reverse the environmental damage done through HBRIC’s over-allocation of groundwater to irrigators.

Has anyone noticed the proliferation of pivot irrigators in CHB over the last five years? Whatever “gains” will be more than outweighed by the environmental destruction the dam will cause – destruction of rare braided river bed, already rare and threatened native species, and biodiversity which will take several hundred years to recover, if ever.

This guy needs to go to parliament to stop the sandal wearing tofu eaters getting in the way of a good hard political sledge.


– RadioNZ


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  • rua kenana

    The sooner this dodgy moronic socialist dam is put into the rubbish bin of history the better.

  • Peter

    Word is a lot of sign ups happening now.
    Good to see the HBRC initiative to clean up lake Tutira by planting manuka on non viable land. Its a win win for the environment and the local economy. By planting out the hill country they are reducing nutrient runoff and reducing nutrient loading in the lake. At the same time the manuka is used for collection of medical grade honey. The land yields a higher return than sheep n beef and the activity protects the environment.

    An excellent outcome that the Ruataniwha project could follow :)

  • AndyG

    So many missed deadlines, so much PR spin & now Dr Andy Pearce has stated in the last HBRC meeting that HBRIC is working on behalf of the private investors, not it’s 100% owner. The only way HBRIC can make this project stack up is to make HBRC the biggest water user & charge for additional “environmental flows” with no science or financial analysis to support their proposal. No mention of how effective the free 4 million cubes of “flushing flows” from the scheme as approved by the BOI will be. Lots of talk about how good this additional water will be for Lake Hatuma but again nothing to back this up. The BOI & experts agreed that very little is known about the ecology of Lake Hatuma & that more research is required to come up with a fix for that body of water. Meantime HBRIC have put the water price up to 27.5 cents….go figure?

    • Peter

      all large complex and challenged projects have delays.
      27.5 cents is still pretty good for farmers. Its a lot cheaper than building a pump station and pumping it yourself and that assumes you could get a consent in this over allocated area…