New Zealand Labour Party

Wairarapa irrigation scheme - another waste of millions?

The Government needs to stop now and analyse whether the proposed Wairarapa water storage projects at Tividale and Black Creek are a waste of  millions of dollars, says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker.

“The Wairarapa projects have all the hallmarks of another white elephant. $4 million of ratepayers money has already been spent on the planned dams with little to show for it.

“Concerns over the economic viability of this and other schemes are heightened since the crash in dairy prices. Why has the Government not produced updated figures?

“The Government’s unwise subsidies of irrigation projects have pushed many farmers into bad investments.

“Many farmers with high-cost farming systems are now going broke.

“More intensive farming is also the main cause of our rivers getting dirtier.

“It’s worrying that the project backers will not tell the public and stakeholders what the cost of the water will be.

“Subsidised water schemes that hark back to the days of ‘Think Big’ and Muldoon make New Zealand poorer not wealthier.

“We need sustainable water management for all users in the Wairarapa,” says David Parker.