Regional Councillors Barker, Beaven, Graham and myself are conducting four public forums throughout Hawke’s Bay in March to discuss water storage in HB and the proposed Ruataniwha Dam.
I hope you’ll attend one of these sessions … and spread the word about them.
The dates and locations are:
- March 3, 6pm – Hastings, Karamu High School
- March 10, 6pm – Waipawa, CHB Municipal Theatre
- March 21, 6pm – Wairoa, Gaiety Theatre
- March 24, 6pm – Napier, Napier Boys High School
At this point, it looks highly unlikely that HBRIC can establish that it can meet the conditions for a viable project by its current publicly-stated deadline of 31 March … if ever.
The forums are intended to update the public on the current proposal’s status, present the reservations we four councillors have at this stage, and learn what concerns the public wishes to see addressed by HBRC during the final decision process.
Too many of the underlying claims and assumptions underlying this project have changed — without further public examination — since this proposal was first tabled. Despite three-plus years of advocacy by project supporters, the public still lacks essential information on the key environmental and financial assumptions and risks underlying this $600 million proposal. It’s time to right the balance and give our community a final opportunity to have their questions answered before any final decision on the dam is made.
We four councillors all agree that water storage — including on-farm storage — is important to Hawke’s Bay’s future success. But we are not convinced this dam is the best option for our money. Nor are we convinced that this scheme will not further degrade the Tukituki River.
The format will include brief presentations by the four councillors, followed by what we hope will be a robust and illuminating Q&A session. While we’re not planning a debate, we’ve invited our fellow regional councillors to attend and participate if they wish from the floor.
For too long the information flow on the dam has been meager, in many cases disingenuous, and highly controlled by HBRIC and its supporting cast at HBRC. Our intention is to lay out out the concerns we have, as fully and candidly as we possibly can.
It’s time for some fresh air!