Very exciting developments over the weekend for the team at HBRIC.
New funding has been found for the dam!
The Royal Family announced that, in a move designed to quell republican stirrings, it will fully finance the Ruataniwha dam scheme. The entire $300 million cost of dam construction will be paid for in precious gems to be hand delivered by Prince William when he and the royal offspring, Prince George, make a special side trip to Hawke’s Bay later this week.
(Bulletin from the Royal Jet: The Duchess of Cambridge, in a passionate statement of environmental protest, will not visit Hawke’s Bay with her husband and son. “I cannot condone by my presence the building of a dam that will cost the lives of thousands of long-finned eels and result in heaps of slimy slime,” read her statement.)
Sources revealed to BayBuzz that intense negotiations spearheaded by HBRIC chairman Andy Pearce led to the funding breakthrough. Confronted, Pearce reluctantly commented on the record: “I was thinking about Andrew Newman’s remark on Radio NZ. He said: ‘When one door closes, another opens’. That’s the spirit, I thought. Let’s think big … forget Trustpower and the iwi, the hell with the Crown Irrigation Authority, let’s go for the Crown Jewels.”
Pearce used his connections to put a call through to Prince William, already in-flight to New Zealand. “I played the Prince George card and gave him the legacy pitch,” revealed a chuffed Pearce. “I told him that since he was likely never to return to New Zealand, a permanent memorial in honour of his son was the least he could do.” “Imagine,” I said, “One day Prince George could be water skiing on Lake Newman, thinking of you in gratitude.”
Pearce reports that at first Prince William resisted. “Lake Newman?” he asked, “What kind of commoner name is that? Call it Lake George or we have no deal.”
Pearce continues: “I realised … What a sly businessman this Prince Willy is. He’s after the naming rights! ‘Deal!’ I replied.”
“But we must insist on keeping the Andrew Newman Memorial Headrace.”
Pearce admits it was “no easy task” getting HBRIC CEO Andrew Newman to give up his “Lake Newman” appellation for the dam’s reservoir. “In the end, I had to offer him an additional $100,000 raise, a seat on the board of BNZ, and the right to short-sell 500,000 shares of the dam’s water rights. But a small price to pay for an outright gift of $300 million.”
Pearce revealed he was “immensely relieved” that he could discontinue funding talks with un-identified Nigerian financiers. He added that HBRIC would immediately suspend its $50,000 per week purchases of Lotto tickets. “We’ve always acknowledged the dam involved risk,” he said.
Prince William will hand over the $300 million in jewels during a special ceremony at the Irrigation NZ conference being held in Napier this week at the War Memorial Centre. The public is invited.
“Of course, the deal isn’t final until we have the gems appraised,” Pearce noted as he popped the champagne at HBRIC headquarters. “Oh … and of course there’s public consultation.”