Fenton ‘Jong-un’ Wilson and a fair chance

The dodgy socialist dam is teetering on the brink as costs explode.

Plans for the controversial Ruataniwha Dam project need to be aborted, Labour says.

A report made public on Wednesday puts the cost of the irrigation scheme at more than $900 million – $300m higher than previous estimates.

Ikaroa-Rāwhiti Labour MP Meka Whaitiri said the new figures made the project completely unviable and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council needed to give up on it.

It was outrageous to expect ratepayers and taxpayers to pay an extra $100m for construction costs, and farmers an extra $200m, she said.

“Anybody in project management of this calibre would actually probably go, ‘what the heck, how could you get this so wrong’.

“I would encourage the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council to start planning an exit strategy.”

There is no exit strategy, the council built a highway to the dam with no exit ramps.

The council’s Investment Company HBRIC has countersigned contracts for more than 30 million cubic metres of water in the scheme.

It needed at least another 15 million cubic metres to be sold for construction to be worthwhile.

Farmers have until Monday to sign up.

Ms Whaitiri pleaded with the council not to extend that deadline.

“Monday’s date should be the absolute date. They do need to assess where they’ve got to.”

HBRIC chief executive Andrew Newman said they would stick to their Monday deadline for farmers.

“We’ll see where we’re at on Monday and we’ll report to the council in due course.”

Mr Wilson said the process needed to run its course before there was any decision about what happened next.

Farmers needed to have a fair and open chance to do their due diligence on signing up, he said.

“Let’s not put the cart before the horse, let farmers have a fair chance to sign up.”

Seven deadlines to sign up have already been missed. How many more fair chances do they need?

The business case for the dam is poked, the business case for the farmers to take water is poked, the dam is essentially poked and is only being driven forward by the monstrous sized egos of the council.


– RadioNZ


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  • JohnO

    It is being driven forward by the fear of the HBRC having to own up to ? millions of dollars already spent on the dam and written off as foolishly wasted.

    • Seriously?

      Wasted yes, but foolish. You may be right but the high dairy prices of the time must have made intensification a reasonable choice. The reality check on that front must be sobering for some of the farmers that were thinking of signing up, and should also be sobering for the Council. I hope they don’t let short term political expedience overtake prudent long term decision-making.

  • hookerphil

    Has the Labour M.P. been reading W/O, it has seemingly taken her a long time to react to the many negative stories about the dam.

  • Peter

    Thank goodness, now that Labour is damming the dam it is really going to go ahead!!

    • You’re just nervous you won’t get any business if the dam doesn’t go ahead.

      • Peter

        Ha ha really panicking..actually even if it does go ahead nothing would happen until 2017/2018.
        There’s plenty to do elsewhere. ZESPRIS are releasing 400 per year for new kiwifruit varieties for the next few years which might keep us busy in the bay – Bay of Plenty that is.

  • AndyG

    Back in Nov 2015 farmers were given an “it’s now or never” by Fenton & co. That deadline passed without the sufficient sign ups. Now we have another deadline & apparently they need to be given yet another “fair chance” to sign up. And it gets better, in the same statement Fenton suggests that the increase in project costs should be viewed as an “investment” not a cost blowout. Now that’s real socialism for you. The scary thing for ratepayers is that the egos are so large they cannot now see the wood from the trees & are determined to proceed at any cost!