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Big cracks appear in Ruataniwha dam project

Big cracks appear in Ruataniwha dam project

The Ruataniwha dam is looking increasingly risky following Trustpower pulling its share of a proposed $106 million investment and with only 40 per cent of potential water users expressing interest the Green Party said today.

Yesterday Trustpower announced it would no longer be investing in the dam due to limited uptake making it too much of a risky investment. Another potential investor, Ngai Tahu, has imposed a number of conditions on its spend.

“Trustpower’s exit from the dam project signals that this project is not viable without massive public subsidies from the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and the Government’s Crown Irrigation Company,” said Green Party water spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

“With private investment looking uncertain, the Council’s investment company shouldn’t be asking the public to prop up this risky project.

“The project doesn’t stack up economically, environmentally and half of the proposed jobs the proponents are trumpeting are uncertain.”

The business case considered by the Council this week makes it clear that job predictions are based on the assumption a new dairy processing factory will be built in the region. An update to the economical modelling highlights job numbers from processing and processing support have ‘high uncertainty’.

“Despite a highly critical submission from the Department of Conservation being suppressed, it is clear that the proposal will lead to more pollution of the Tukituki River,” said Ms Sage.

“The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council needs to pull the plug on this risky project and say no to the more than $80 million its investment company wants from the Council.”

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