The Ruataniwha dam project is turning into a huge white elephant as the economics fail to stack up, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri.
“Ruataniwha simply doesn’t make economic sense when you look at other major irrigation schemes around the country. In today’s prices the Opuha dam in Canterbury cost less than $60 million for 70 million cubic metres of usable water. In contrast Ruataniwha will cost $275 million for 90 million cubic metres of water.
The Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company’s decision to borrow $4 million to keep the Ruataniwha project afloat is a case of throwing ratepayer’s good money after bad, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri and Napier MP Stuart Nash.
“This bridging loan, which goes before the Council tomorrow, is nothing short of a desperate bid to keep the Ruataniwha going in the face of serious environmental and economic concerns ,” says Meka Whaitiri.
Labour will put the environment squarely into legislation governing the Environmental Protection Authority in a Member’s Bill by Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri, pulled from the ballot today.
“The current law has a glaring omission in that it doesn’t actually make protecting the environment a goal of the Authority.