Major developments on the Ruataniwha water storage scheme
19 September 2013
Major developments on the Ruataniwha water storage scheme including candidate positions
On the day Federated Farmers is publishing candidate positions on the regional economic development of Hawke’s Bay, Federated Farmers is pleased to see TrustPower Limited and Ngāi Tahu Holdings Corporation Limited, sign a Memorandum of Understanding to potentially invest in Hawke’s Bay’s Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme.
“Getting TrustPower and Ngāi Tahu on board is an incredibly significant development for Ruataniwha,” says Will Foley, Federated Farmers Hawke’s Bay provincial president.
“We now have two significant commercial entities that have pen to paper to potentially invest in Ruataniwha. That tells me they see huge opportunity, not just in the Ruataniwha scheme, but the Hawke’s Bay.
“Being a central Hawke’s Bay sheep and beef farmer myself, I am actually enthused to see potential private investment for Ruataniwha reach between 30 and 40 percent of its initial capital cost. This is a significant milestone.
“I bet there will be a fair degree of interest from farmers to invest in the scheme when the opportunity opens and I certainly hope it does.
“The primary industries are New Zealand’s core competitive advantage and in our region, is the number one economic driver. If you grow fruit, grapes, crops or grass you need water.
“This is why we asked all candidates for the 2013 regional council elections, if Hawke’s Bay Regional Council should have a role in driving better economic growth and if so, what initiatives should be supported to create significant growth in Hawke's Bay.
“This involved specific questions around water quality, solutions to build resilience in our productive systems and minimum river flow levels. This generated some eye opening replies that can be viewed by following this link.
“Sensibly storing water in times of plenty to use in times of shortage, will go a long way towards making our province more drought resilient.
“Given farmers are also being told that the climate is changing, Ruataniwha becomes fundamental infrastructure in that regard.
“I also understand Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has done pre-feasibility studies on the Ngaruroro River too. This shows us there are a number of water options currently being looked at in our region. This is about making water secure for all who live in the Hawke’s Bay.
“Drought is about ‘opportunity cost’ whereas storing water creates economic and environmental opportunities.
“That’s why most farmers do not accept that doing nothing is an option. With TrustPower and Ngāi Tahu potentially now on-board, suddenly, Ruataniwha has taken a huge step forward,” Will Foley concluded.
Federated Farmers’ 2013 Regional Council elections candidate replies can be viewed by clicking here.