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Safety of Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme paramount

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HBRIC Ltd is reassuring the public the safety of the proposed Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme is paramount and a dam construction expert panel has already been appointed and started work.

HBRIC Ltd Chief Executive Andrew Newman says the three consenting authorities, which are Central Hawke’s Bay and Hastings District Councils and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council have confirmed a change of dam type under the consent conditions.  The conditions anticipated that this might occur and provided for a Dam Construction Expert Panel to certify that the altered dam type met the relevant dam safety design criteria.

The Panel comprises a representative of the owner’s engineer, Peter Darlingfrom SMEC, the dam design/constructors’ engineer, Malcolm Barkerfrom GHD and an independent Category A Engineer, Trevor Matuschka from Engineering Geology Ltd.  “Owners Engineer” is a well-recognised professional engineering role within the contracting structure, requiring a high degree of independence.

Mr Newman says the conditions provide for the appointment of another expert panel focusing on ensuring the safety of the dam, to review and report to HBRIC on the further detailed investigations and design work that will follow letting of the Design and Construction Contract for the Dam.  HBRIC is in discussions with the consent authorities as to the make-up of this additional Independent Review Panel in order that it will be in place and able to start work when the Design and Construction contract is let.

He says these RMA provisions are supplemented by a further dam safety review that will be undertaken by Waikato Regional Council (acting on behalf of HBRC) under the Building Act 2004.  Waikato Regional Council will also obtain its own expert engineering advice under that separate process.

“I want to reassure the public that this three-pronged dam safety review process will ensure that all dam safety issues will be properly addressed by qualified experts” says Mr Newman

30 June 2016

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