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

 

17 Year Sentences In Baby Moko Case: Attorney General On Plea Bargain

“The Crown’s decisions in this case, including the decision to accept the manslaughter pleas, were motivated by the need to secure convictions for this horrendous killing and to avoid the significant risk that either of the defendants could escape such a conviction because of evidential issues.” More>>

ALSO:

No Rail For New Harbour Crossing: National Giving Up On Rail In Auckland

The National Government’s decision to scrap two planned rail lines in Auckland shows it is giving up on a city-wide rail network in Auckland, and on thousands of commuters who sit in traffic jams every single day, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Ombudsman’s Verdict On Paula Rebstock And Ian Rennie

Unfortunately, the brave and damning report by Ombudsman Ron Paterson on the “flawed” and “unfair” inquiry conducted by Dame Paula Rebstock into events at MFAT pulls back the veil on a far wider issue. More>>

ALSO:

Charities' Report: Stressed Families - Overstretched Services

“Like so many of the whānau and families they serve social service organisations are under huge financial stress. The support demanded from desperate people in communities is far outreaching the resources available.” More>>

ALSO:

Detention: Wellingtonians Protest Treatment Of Refugees

Peace Action Wellington (PAW) and around 50 Wellingtonians blockaded the Australian High Commission, creating a symbolic detention centre to protest the Australian Government's policy of mandatory offshore detention for refugees and asylum seekers. More>>

ALSO:

Diver's Alarums: Breach Means Training Provider Must Repay $1.47 Million

The New Zealand School of Outdoor Studies is to repay $1.47 million (GST-exclusive) to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) following an investigation which showed that some student enrolments between 2009 -2014 could not be validated and that courses were under-delivered against their agreement with the TEC. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Government Plans Suggest Bulk Funding Return

Plans by the Government to return to bulk funding are likely to see increased class sizes and schools most in need missing out on much-needed resources, Labour’s Acting Education spokesperson Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

Interim Report: Auckland Looks Long Term To Pay-Per-Km Road Pricing

Aucklanders can expect to be paying variable rates per kilometre to travel on the city's most congested roads under an emerging transport strategy being formulated by the government and the Auckland Council. More>>

ALSO:

Despite Promises: Government Extends Iraq Deployment

Cabinet has agreed to extend New Zealand’s contribution to the joint New Zealand-Australia mission to train Iraqi Security Forces until November 2018. More>>

ALSO:

On The 'Terrorism' Card:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news