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Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme Update

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has put in place stronger conditions to reduce the environmental and financial risks of the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme.

At today’s meeting the Council agreed on two new conditions that must be met before it will agree to invest up to $80 million dollars in the water storage scheme. It also refined some of the existing conditions.

The changes come following a Council-initiated review of the legal, financial, economic, engineering and environmental elements of the Scheme, including impacts and consequences of implementing the Tukituki Plan - also known as Plan Change 6 - with and without the Scheme, and the implications of withdrawing from the Scheme.

The first new condition aims to put in place stronger environmental safeguards around the scheme, with a requirement for the Council to be satisfied that nutrient management requirements of the Tukituki Plan (Plan Change 6) and the Ruataniwha Scheme consents can be met through Farm Environment Management Plans and other environmental management measures prior to financial close.

The second new condition ensures the Department of Conservation land exchange, currently before the Supreme Court, be resolved prior to the Ruataniwha Scheme proceeding to financial close.

The Council has also increased the water sales required before the Scheme can proceed by 10 million to 50 million cubic metres.

HBRC Chairman Rex Graham says the review of the project was extremely worthwhile and has highlighted uncertainty for some councillors and the council owes it to the ratepayers of Hawke’s Bay to fully investigate the future impacts of the Scheme.

31 May 2017

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