Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Greens dam Tukituki decision

15 April 2014

Greens dam Tukituki decision

With the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council actively promoting the Ruataniwha dam scheme and the Government suppressing important information on its potential impacts, it is not surprising that the Ministerially appointed panel has agreed to it the scheme, the Green Party said today.

Ms Sage presented a submission to the Board of Inquiry, outlining the Green Party’s opposition to the proposal.

“The proposed Ruataniwha dam is New Zealand’s largest irrigation scheme. The Government identified the proposal as being nationally significant and justifying a Board of Inquiry, yet suppressed the Department of Conservation’s 32 page submission on the proposal which outlined severe ecological and water quality concerns with the scheme,” said Green Party water spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

Freshwater scientists such as Dr Russel Death who gave evidence concluded that “Increased agricultural intensification planned with the Ruataniwha scheme, even with the proposed mitigation strategies, will result in a further degradation of those waterbodies.”

“Expert evidence from Fish and Game highlighted how the scheme will keep the environment, and often farmers, at the brink of disaster as they push the land and waterways harder in an effort to maximise production. These systems risk farmers being stuck on the treadmill of huge debt and ever increasing production to service that debt,” said Ms Sage.

“The Board’s decision to significantly increase the amount of water which irrigators can take from the Ruataniwha aquifer risks repeating Canterbury’s mistakes where overuse of groundwater has depleted and reduced the flows in spring fed streams and seen them polluted with nutrients.

“There are also serious questions about the business case for the dam given a previous Treasury report which questioned the farm gate financial viability of irrigation schemes.

“Trustpower’s withdrawal as an investor means the $254 million cost of the scheme ($650 million if on-farm costs are included) is relying on massive public subsidies from Government via its Crown Irrigation Company and the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council to proceed.

“It looks like the scheme proponents are ignoring any evidence that contradicts their vision for a big dam, and are just charging on ahead.

“The only plus in the decision is the Board’s rejection of the proposal to only control one nutrient through plan rules. Requiring the management of both nitrogen and phosphorous is a win for the environment, yet the scale of the land use change which the dam will result in will mean that the rules are unlikely to stop river pollution.

“New Zealanders want to be able to swim in our rivers. The Ruataniwha dam scheme will mean more intensive agriculture and more pollution leaching into our waterways; and potentially depleted aquifers.

“We need to be investing in smart sustainable farming, that produces high value products not putting the Tukituki River and local aquifers at risk and forcing farmers to get deeper in debt to convert and take water from the scheme,” said Ms Sage.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

To date, the Opposition has continued to occupy itself with the marginalia of the issue. E.g. whether Key did or didn’t know whether Barack Obama would be present at the US briefing last week on IS, or whether New Zealand’s military involvement is or isn’t already a fait accompli.

It might be better to tackle the issue, head on. Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn.
More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Tea Breaks 'Gone By Lunch Time'

“How cynical that on the eve of Labour weekend, the National government is pushing through legislation that takes away the statutory right to tea and meal breaks along with collective bargaining protections, and makes vulnerable workers jobs even less secure." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: October 22 — Parliament Today

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary Education: Students Doing It Tough As Fees Rise Again

The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. More>>

ALSO:

Housing, Iraq: PM Press Conference – 20 October 2014

Prime Minister John Key met with press today to discuss:
• Housing prices and redevelopment in Auckland
• Discussions with Tony Abbott on the governmental response to ISIS, and New Zealand’s election to the UN Security Council More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news