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Public Excluded

MEDIA RELEASE:

Transparent Hawke’s Bay Inc

24 August, 2014

Public Excluded

Transparent Hawke’s Bay spokesperson, Pauline Elliott, says it is of extreme concern to see the agenda item “Investment Company re-forecasting” is to be public excluded at tomorrow’s Regional Council meeting.

Ms Elliott says the Regional Council has spent millions of rate payer monies so far on progressing the Ruataniwha scheme and is still a very long way from a result. “The original establishment budget was less than $5m, it now stands at $13.6m and rising” she says.

“This is the second request this year for a reforecast of the budget for the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme. In April, a request was approved for an additional $2million to cover an extended ‘financial close’ date. So when, exactly, is ‘financial close’? This appears to be a moving target, depending on confirmed investors and water user agreements, a firm construction cost, and a workable consent. We are now told this is unlikely to happen before the first quarter of 2015.

“Costs are escalating and the public has a right to know how their money is being spent. This is not a private corporation. It is a ratepayer owned investment company. Yet the public are being told they will be excluded from hearing just how much further funding is needed, and why” says Ms Elliott.

Transparent Hawke’s Bay has made a request to Council Chair, Fenton Wilson, to have this agenda item discussed in open meeting, and would encourage members of the public to attend the meeting at the Regional Council, Dalton Street, Napier. Wednesday 27th from 9am.

ENDS

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