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Alternative Investment Report discussed


Media Release
9 April 2014

Alternative Investment Report discussed

The Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme remains the most economic alternative and a viable investment for Hawke’s Bay, according to an independent report commissioned by Hawke’s Bay Regional Council.

Nimmo-Bell & Company Ltd was commissioned to prepare a report identifying and evaluating alternative investments for the region. That report was presented to today’s HBRC Environment & Services Committee meeting.

The report says “there is a dearth of investment-ready alternatives, which reflects the lack of urgency for a cohesive regional economic development and infrastructural investment plan for the region”.

The consultants considered a range of alternative investments including:
• Napier-Gisborne Railway
• Hawke’s Bay Airport and business park
• Biomass from waste
• Regional processing facility
• Productive use of Maori land resources and Wairoa development
• Ngaruroro Water Augmentation Scheme
• Regional tourism development
• Oil and gas development
Analysis revealed that none of these projects met the qualifying criteria for short-listing and detailed analysis.

The report says while most of the output economic impacts of the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme will be in Central Hawke’s Bay, there will be flow-on gains for other areas of Hawke’s Bay, in particular Hastings, which has a significant servicing, manufacturing and food processing base.

It says in the longer term other parts of the region should benefit from the general lift in economic activity and confidence in Hawke’s Bay from the water storage scheme.

Councillor Fenton Wilson told the committee the lack of investment opportunities within Hawke’s Bay highlighted in the report is a concern for the region. He said the report is another step in the process towards deciding whether to invest in the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme.

Councillor Christine Scott agreed and said work needed to be done to ensure other investment opportunities were explored with stakeholders, such as Business Hawke’s Bay.

Environment & Services Committee Chairman Councillor Rex Graham and Councillor Tom Belford both did not support receiving the report as they felt the brief was too tight and it did not meet their expectations.

The report was received by the committee and will now go to the full council for adoption.

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