Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Beware of False Profits

Beware of False Profits

In a long winded and meandering media release (IrrigationNZ, 17 June 2015), Andrew Curtis, Chief Executive of IrrigationNZ, hit back at recent criticism of the Wairarapa Water Users Project’s (WWUP) proposed Tividale and Back Creek water storage schemes by Rōpere Consulting principal Peter Fraser.

Mr Fraser has previously stated “the bottom line seems to be Tividale is a dud and Black Creek is barely marginal” (Wairarapa Times Age, 12 June 2015).

Mr Curtis responds “Peter Fraser’s view that the Wairarapa Water Use Project and other water storage developments are unviable, doesn’t stack up with the significant amount of research already done on these projects”.

Mr Fraser responds “In a case of lots of smoke but not much fire, Mr Curtis has provided precisely no evidence to contradict my analysis. The central question therefore remains unanswered: can Wairarapa farmers afford to pay for the water from the proposed projects, because if they can’t then one must question the need to continue to poor millions of dollars into what increasing looks like a make-work scheme for dam lobbyists. I therefore stand by my original claim the neither the Tividale nor Black Creek proposals are remotely viable without a substantial local or central government subsidy” Mr Fraser said.

Mr Curtis further states “these developments respond to a range of needs. They augment rivers and top up aquifers, they tackle the environmental legacies of farming, industry and population growth by boosting water supply and ensuring consistent river flows. In many areas water storage provides recreational opportunities like new kayaking, boating and fishing destinations.”

Mr Fraser responds “Mr Curtis’ attempts to bolster economically marginal projects by appealing to broader objectives such as fishing, rather than addressing the core question of project viability, is akin to putting lipstick on a pig – it may look a bit better but it’s still a pig. And being five years into a project and not yet gotten round to asking basic questions like whether the farmers can afford the water is a travesty.”

Mr Fraser concludes “I think it is important to distinguish between schemes that are viable and ones that are not. For example, Opuha is often quoted as the poster child for storage – and so it should be as it has been an extremely successful scheme. However, it is increasingly clear that the Opuha situation can't be replicated – at least not in the Wairarapa. The issue is simple and goes back to the relationship between project build costs and water costs to farmers. Opuha provides about 70M m3 of usable water – so is over twice the size of Tividale (about 30M m3) and slightly bigger than Black Creek (about 65M m3). However, Opuha cost less than $60 million to build in today's money. In comparison, Tividale has a midpoint cost estimate of $82 million whereas Black Creek's midpoint is $138 million.

So cost wise, neither project is even remotely comparable to Opuha – so Opuha is an invalid and misleading comparison.

If Tividale can be landed for about $30 million and Black Creek for about $100 million then WWUP are onto a winner. If they can't, then there's not much point going further as we have a pretty clear off ramp that you would need to be Stevie Wonder to miss”.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Elusive Charms Of Christopher Luxon

Well, the first 36 hours of viewing the Christopher Luxon selfie were always going to be the best, before the repetitions set in. We get it, already. He’s an extroverted/big ego/high achieving/God fearing/country music lovin’/family man who is not at all averse to mansplaining to little ladies like RNZ’s Kathryn Tyan what “technical” words like “productivity” actually mean. But wait, there’s more. National is back! Mind you, that’s not the Bad National of recent experience, but the Good National of days gone by... More>>


Government: Delivers Reactivation Package As Aucklanders Reconnect For Summer
A new support package will help revive economic, social and cultural activities in our largest city over summer, and ensure those in hardship also get relief. The Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni and the Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash... More>>

Government: Crown Accounts Reflect Strong Economy Amid Pandemic

The Government’s financial accounts continue to reflect an economy that has performed better than expected, despite the latest Delta COVID-19 outbreak. The Crown accounts for the four months to the end of October factors in the improved starting position for the new financial year... More>>


National: Christopher Luxon Elected Party Leader
Christopher Luxon has been elected Leader of the New Zealand National Party, alongside Nicola Willis as Deputy Leader. “It is a tremendous privilege to lead our great party, and I thank my colleagues for the confidence they have placed in me,” Mr Luxon says... More>>

Waitangi National Trust: Waitangi Week
The Waitangi National Trust has decided there will be no in-person events at Waitangi Treaty Grounds during Waitangi Week 2022. Under the COVID-19 Protection Framework it would be practically impossible to safely proceed with the usual events of Waitangi commemorations... More>>

Freedom Camping: Making Sure People Are Up To Play With Changes
People interested in finding out how the proposed improvements to freedom camping might affect them are being invited to an information-sharing webinar... More>>

AUT: Aucklanders Are Less Concerned With Covid
In reaction to commentary that Aucklanders are at breaking point after more than 100 days in lockdown and that compliance with the rules is under threat, AUT Emeritus Professor of Sociology Charles Crothers says... More>>




InfoPages News Channels