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HBRC to consult on potential investment in Ruataniwha Scheme

Media Release
30 April 2014

HBRC to consult on potential investment in Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has today agreed to release a statement of proposal on investing up to $80 million in the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme for the public to have their say on.

Council has agreed to proceed with a special consultative procedure, which involves providing the community with the proposal so they can respond with their views.

A flyer drawing attention to the proposal will be delivered to homes throughout the region. It outlines the benefits and risks of investing in the large irrigation scheme in Central Hawke’s Bay.

A series of 17 lunchtime and after work public meetings are being held throughout the region at key locations. The details of the public meetings are included in the flyer being delivered to homes. Substantial additional information will also be available online.

The public will have until the 3rd of June 2014 to lodge a written submission on the investment proposal, before verbal submissions are heard from 16th of June.

Before deciding whether or not to invest up to $80 million in the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme Council will consider all the written and verbal submissions, along with a range of reports, including an independent peer review of the business case and a report on potential alternative investments.

Any Council investment will be dependent on four specific conditions being met by financial close, which is expected by 30 September 2014. The following conditions need to be met for the scheme to proceed:

• Gaining workable resource consents for the project from the Environmental Protection Authority
• Farmers signing up to contracts for a minimum of 40 million cubic metres of water
• Securing acceptable funding for the scheme
• Finalising a bankable construction contract.

ENDS

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