The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is to consult with the public on whether to sign up to take additional water from the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme for environmental flows.
Council’s investment company HBRIC Ltd has put forward a proposal which would see the council gain access to water for environmental flows at no cost for the first six years of the Scheme’s operation. After that, the Council would be charged for four million cubic metres of water a year for 25 years on the same terms as a foundation water user.
The Council would continue to receive its agreed dividend from the Scheme and would then use some of this money for environmental enhancement projects in the Tukituki Catchment.
At its meeting last month the Council agreed to the proposal in principle, subject to advice from independent consultants, Deloittes that there will be sufficient cash from the Scheme to pay for the water.
After the February meeting the council sought advice from Audit New Zealand and at today’s meeting voted to ask the public its view on signing up to the 35 year water user contract. It will consult with the public as part of its Annual Plan consultation process in May.
6 April 2016
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