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Federated Farmers on Ruataniwha appeal

18 July 2014

Federated Farmers on Ruataniwha appeal

While Federated Farmers did not lodge an appeal with the High Court against the Board of Inquiry decision on the Ruataniwha Dam and the associated Plan Change 6, it is now considering options in light of Hawke’s Bay & Eastern Fish & Game Councils lodging an appeal.

“Federated Farmers principal interests are in the plan change rather than the dam, which was given consent to proceed,” says Will Foley, Federated Farmers Hawke’s Bay Provincial President.

“I cannot comment on the merits of Fish & Game’s appeal until we see it next week.

“Since we now know of Fish & Game appeal, we must now reconsider the best way forward. I need our members to know that we do have options.

“It seems farcical since the news today says Kiwi farmers will have to make big changes to cope with climate change, following release of the International State of the Climate report. Yet more reasons to store water.

“There have been a lot of mistruths spread in the community and online and that’s been the most disappointing thing for us.

“Take, for example, the false claims that Plan Change 6 would establish a single nutrient management regime. The plan change only ever proposed that all nutrients would be managed under a tight regulatory regime in order to ensure the health of the Tukituki River.

“The difference is that the Regional Council’s regime was workable for farmers in the long term, while, as it stands, the Board of Inquiry’s decision locks farmers into their present land use.

“In some cases it may require us to cut back on the scale of what we farm and perhaps even require some of our guys to change what they farm completely.

“That is not acceptable if we are to restore the dynamism that Hawke’s Bay needs to avoid becoming a zombie economy.

“There has been a lot of focus on Hawke’s Bay as a region in serious economic trouble and guess what, we have a solution in Ruataniwha, as long as farmers can afford it and as long as it goes ahead.

“If there are obstacles to be overcome we can do that with a little good will on all sides. I just hope Fish & Game’s appeal is constructive and not destructive,” Mr Foley concluded.


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