Hawkes Bay Regional Council loses Ngāi Tahu as investment partner

By Harata Brown
  • North Island: East Coast

The Hawkes Bay Regional Council's investment company is trying to raise $275 million dollars for its $600 million Ruataniwha Water Storage Project.

In March of this year, electricity company Trustpower withdrew as an investor which also saw Ngāi Tahu follow suit.

The Ngāi Tahu Holdings Corporation, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu's commercial arm said as a replacement investor to Trustpower has not been found, Ngāi Tahu has ended its Memorandum of Understanding with the Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company.

Trustpower and Ngāi Tahu together were hoping to jointly invest $100 million in to the water storage project.

According to Andrew Newman, "What Ngāi Tahu wanted was an investor partner that both gave them some coverage around infrastructure development, bulk water management and a potential partnership in the South Island."

The Hawke's Bay Regional Council's Investment Company is yet to obtain a workable consent for the dam, due to conditions regarding nitrate levels allowed to leech into the Tukituki Catchment.

So it was asked of the CEO of the Council's Investment Company is this an indication of a failed project before it kicks off?

Andrew Newman says, “No it's not a failed project because it's a project that's running through a process to reach a conclusion." 

Ngāi Tahu declined to make comment on camera, but The Council Investment Company understands Ngāi Tahu is open to further discussion.