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Time for Government to pull plug on dirty dam

Time for Government to pull plug on dirty dam

It’s time for the Government to pull out of the Ruataniwha scheme and not subsidise it through the Crown Irrigation Company, the Green Party said today.

The Hawke's Bay Regional Council issued a report last week, which highlights that the proposed irrigation dam and reservoir in the Tukituki catchment is not commercially viable. Yesterday, Ngai Tahu pulled its support as a potential investor for the scheme, following Trustpower Ltd's withdrawal in March. This leaves no known institutional investors and a $90 million hole in financing for the scheme.

“The Government needs to face the reality that the Ruataniwha dam is not commercially viable and could only be constructed with massive public subsidies, said Green Party water spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

“Trustpower pulled out because of the financial risk and likely low returns, Ngai Tahu have dropped it because of a lack of experienced investors, and the Council’s own figures show the dam is no longer viable.

“With commercial investors dropping out, if the scheme continues, taxpayers and Hawke's Bay ratepayers will be left to front most of the $275 million construction cost of the scheme.

“It’s time for the Government to invest in a clean green future, not a dirty dam and more intensive dairying which will pollute our rivers, streams and aquifers.

“The Green Party’s Green Investment Bank proposal is a much more sustainable option both financially and economically than investing in polluting intensive agriculture,” said Ms Sage.

Ends

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