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Council needs to come clean about dirty dam

Council needs to come clean about dirty dam

The Green Party is calling for the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council to release the figures showing the cost to ratepayers of the Ruataniwha Dam.

The Chair of the Council’s investment company refused to release figures at a Council meeting yesterday. However, documents presented to the meeting do show that the dam will result in a shortfall of $3.15 million from cash-generating investments. The Council has also sold an income stream from leasehold properties, worth around $1.7 million annually, to generate capital but refused to confirm this was to fund the dam.

“Hawke’s Bay Regional Council needs to come clean with what the full cost of the dirty dam proposal will be,” Green Party water spokesperson Eugenie Sage said today.

“The Council needs to confirm how much of a short fall the Council will be facing. Is it just the $3.15 million from lost investment revenue over the next two years. Or is the total much higher because they haven’t included the $1.7 million annual lost revenue from leasehold properties?

“Any short fall will need to be made up from increases in rates or increased Council debt. Either way the burden will fall to the people of Hawke’s Bay to bear.

“Councillors and ratepayers need to know what the true cost of this dirty dam will be on top of the $80 million of council subsidy currently proposed.

“The refusal of the Council’s investment company to provide numbers to councillors at a meeting yesterday highlights the need for more transparency.

“Council ratepayers carry the most risk if the scheme fails to sign up enough users, and ratepayers should be told how much this proposal will cost.

“New Zealanders want rivers they can swim in. The Council needs to stand up for our rivers, not spend unknown amounts on this dirty dam,” said Ms Sage.

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