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Green Party to oppose Tasman District Council Bill

Green Party to oppose Tasman District Council (Waimea Water Augmentation Scheme) Bill

The Green Party caucus is listening to the concerns of environmentalists and the local community and will not support the upcoming Waimea Dam enabling legislation, Green Party Co-Leader Marama Davidson announced today.

“The Tasman District Council (Waimea Water Augmentation Scheme) Bill is expected to have its first reading later this year, and we will be voting against it,” Marama said.

“We share concerns about the impact of this scheme on the natural river flows, and disruption to ecosystems in the inundated areas.”

“The Green Party believes that conservation land should be protected for its innate values, and that the transfer of conservation land for use as part of a dam cannot be reconciled with the fundamental commitment to protect it for conservation.”


“This dam is a ‘think big’ solution with significant downside risks. There are more sustainable and affordable ways to address the peak season water shortages facing the Tasman Region.”

“Winding down Government support for irrigation is part of improving water quality and protecting the freshwater resource for future generations. Some funding has been secured from Crown Irrigation Investments for the Waimea scheme, but there is a potential shortfall that means the project is far from certain.”
· Resource consents have already been granted for the scheme, but these do not give any access rights to conservation land. The Bill is the only way to allow the conservation land to be used for the scheme.


· This Bill would transfer 9.67 ha of conservation land to the Tasman District Council, allowing it to be inundated and used for water storage as part of a major water supply and irrigation scheme.


· The Green Party policy position is that big irrigation schemes disrupt the variability of natural water flows, and incentivise intensive farming. This leads to an increase in pollution, especially nitrates.

· The Tasman District Council is also due to vote on the Waimea Dam scheme on 28 August 2018.

ends

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