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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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.