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Last pockets of water being pumped from Rangitaiki

3 August 2004

Last pockets of water being pumped from Rangitaiki Plains

For immediate release: Monday 2 August 2004 After a major team effort, the last pockets of water are now being pumped off the Rangitaiki Plains.

Environment Bay of Plenty, Federated Farmers, landowners and dozens of volunteers have kept the water pumps running constantly for two weeks now, manning most of them day and night. Environment Bay of Plenty’s chief executive Jeff Jones says the work has gone very well, with only a few areas still under water. “It has been a great cooperative effort,” he says.

Mr Jones says Environment Bay of Plenty plans to meet the initial costs of the pumping, which are likely to total more than $300,000. It will seek to recover them later from the Central Government’s Disaster Relief Fund. “Environment Bay of Plenty has responsibility for the drainage and flood control of the Rangitaiki Plains,” Mr Jones says. “In any case, failure of the stopbank led to much of the water that needed pumping off the land.”

The Eastern Bay Energy Trust has offered to help fund the cost of running the 120 or so water pumps, which consumed up to 10,000 litres of diesel daily. Shell Kopeopeo is also donating some fuel. Work by volunteers and the use of farmer-supplied tractors has also helped keep costs down.

ENDS

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