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

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Labour: Cash For Charter Schools, Mould For State Schools

“Recently released financial statements show the Whangarei charter school He Puna Marama received $3.9 million in government funding to the end of last year. Yet their audited accounts show they only spent $1.4 million on education, leaving almost $2.5 million over two years unaccounted for." More>>

ALSO:

Kiwirail Plans Shift From Electric: National Urged Not To Take Backwards Step

The National Government shouldn’t drag New Zealand backwards by replacing its climate friendly electric trains with carbon-polluting diesel trains, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Capital Connection:

Harmful Digital Communication Bill Passes: Focus Must Be On Education

InternetNZ acknowledges the passage of the Harmful Digital Communications Bill into law this afternoon, and says that the sooner the education efforts at the heart of the legislation start, the better... More>>

ALSO:

3-Year Transport Plan: No Plans On Six Northland-Election Bridges

The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. More>>

ALSO:

Gaza Blockade: Māori TV Crew Returning Safely From Israel

A Māori Television crew will be flown back from Israel after their boat was detained by the Israeli Navy while attempting to break the Gaza blockade. More>>

ALSO:

Family Violence: Increasing Reporting But Fewer Resolutions

“We are aware the Police have embarked on a significant programme of change in how they respond to family violence. The data suggests that adequate resourcing including investing in staff training, support and culture change will be required for this to be effective.” More>>

ALSO:

Health: NZ Children Still Suffer Rickets From Lack Of Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency continues to cause rickets in young New Zealanders, new University of Otago research has found. The researchers say that their finding suggests that at-risk mothers and children should be better targeted for Vitamin D supplementation. More>>

Also GPs, Housing, Milk: PM Press Conference On The UN Security Council

In a press conference today the Prime Minister discussed the upcoming appointment of New Zealand to chair the UN Security Council. He said they would put pressure Asad in Syria and attempt to “jump start” negotiations between Israel and Palestine. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: State Houses Could Sell To Overseas Groups

Bill English’s admission that he would sell hundreds of New Zealand’s state houses to the Australians is the latest lurch in the Government’s stumbling, half-baked housing policy, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. More>>

ALSO:

AND:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news