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Residents at risk should have say on Ruataniwha dam proposal

30 July 2013

Residents at risk should have say on Ruataniwha dam proposal

The Green Party today asked the Environmental Protection Authority to extend the timeframe for public submissions on the Tukituki proposal after a Waipawa resident discovered a report which shows half the town could be washed away if the Ruataniwha dam fails in an earthquake.

“This buried report which shows significant harm could be caused if the proposed Ruataniwha dam fails or is affected by an earthquake is another reason the dam should not be built,” said Green Party water spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

The 83 metre dam would be located near the Mohaka fault. Public submissions on the proposal close on Friday after just four weeks.

“If the Government and Council want to press ahead with this ill-conceived project, then at the very least they should give Waipawa residents adequate time to have their say,” said Ms Sage.

“The four weeks which the Board has allowed for submissions on the Ruataniwha proposal is unreasonably short given its complex nature, and the fact that information regarding the risk of earthquakes has only recently been made public.

“The collapse of the Opuha dam during construction and the significant damage in the Opihi catchment shows that the risk of dam collapse in such irrigation projects is a real one, even without the added risk of seismic hazard.

“Given the significant new information about how the dam could jeopardise their safety and property, it’s important that Waipawa residents have time to make submissions on the dam proposal,” said Ms Sage.

Reference:
Ms Sage’s letter to the EPA: https://www.greens.org.nz/misc-documents/request-extension-public-consultation-ruataniwha-dam-proposal

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