Tough bar set for Ruataniwha dam

Today’s final decision by the Tukituki Catchment Board of Inquiry is good news for the river and the environment, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri.

“Setting a strict level of dissolved nitrogen in the catchment’s waters will ensure that the dam has far less of an impact on the Tukituki river.

“It is concerning though that this report shows that the Board’s nitrogen level of 0.8 mg/l has already been exceeded across the catchment. In fact it’s been exceeded by twice the set level in some places. 

“It will be interesting to see what happens to the financial viability of the Ruataniwha Project now that the Hawkes Bays Regional Council investment company HBRIC has to meet this nitrogen target by 2030. 

“As environmentalists have said it is hard to see how these 2030 targets can be feasible if the dam means even more intensive farming. 

“Ratepayers must also be worried that to date over 20 million dollars has been spent on the Ruataniwha project with no sod turned,” says Meka Whaitiri.