Dodgy Socialist Dam having its dodgy numbers reviewed

The dodgy Hawkes Bay Regional Council is really trying hard to ram their dodgy dam through before the council makeup changes.

Finally, the council is getting an independent auditor to look at their dodgy numbers, but already there appears to be a $2 million hole to fill.

The Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme’s financial viability will be re-examined by independent auditors after concerns were raised by some Hawke’s Bay Regional councillors last week.

Following an extraordinary Hawke’s Bay Regional council meeting on Friday, council authorised a drawdown of $80million, less development costs, for investment in the scheme.

Council had agreed that three of four conditions required before investment could proceed had been met, and an independent financial review from auditors Deloittes supported the content and conclusions of the business case as being robust.

However yesterday, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council chairman Fenton Wilson confirmed Deloittes will be re-checking the figures provided by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company Ltd (HBRIC).  

He said Deloittes were maintaining the break even point for the project was to be water uptake volume of 41.5 million cubic metres.

Signed water uptake sits at more than 42 million cubic metres.

During Friday’s meeting, councillors raised concerns about these figures – which they had not been presented with.

Yesterday, councillor Peter Beaven said there appeared to be a significant gap between how much would be earned by the water already contracted, and running costs of the scheme.

“Looking at the straight numbers, it appears to me that there is a $2 million cash flow hole,” he said.

For the scheme to reach break even, he said it appeared assumptions were made about a “not insignificant” number of water “spot sales”, which had not been reported in the meeting.

Fenton Wilson thinks it isn’t a big deal. I wonder if he runs his farm finances like that?

As I have always said the dam business plan was based on heroic numbers.

Those numbers can only be worse considering the dam has to be significantly lower and hence have a lower capacity because of the stupid decision of the council to try and convert some DOC land for the dam. If the numbers didn’t work then they sure as hell won’t work now.

Hawkes Bay voters should reject any councillor supporting the dodgy socialist dam.


-HB Today

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