Construction on the Ruataniwha Dam could start as early as September this year. The Hawke's Bay Regional Council Investment Company has signed up just enough water users to make the plan viable. But the project is not over the line just yet.
$330million will get this project underway.
Andrew Newman the Chief Executive HBRIC Ltd says, “The fundamental most important issue around weather the Ruataniwha water storage project is actually built is whether we have enough farmers willing to pay for the delivery of that water.”
They have, so far signed up 196 parties to draw water from the dam totally almost 43 million cubic metres.
“It’s a really big decision for those signing water user agreements 35 years is a very long time and they're often doing on behalf of their next generation,” says Newman.
The dam will be a 93 million cubic metre reservoir located in the upper Makaroro River in Central Hawke's Bay.
Hawkes Bay Regional Council Chairman, Fenton Wilson says, “It's a chance to bring the whānau home bring our families back for jobs that will come following this dam so I think that's been missed in this whole conversation.”
Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Inc have opposed all the way due to degradation of the waterways and their chair Ngahiwi Tomoana isn’t taking it likely, “We will be investigating all avenues so that this project does not go ahead.”
Though it's not a done deal just yet, it seems the only thing that can stop it now is if its capital structure fails.