Idiot Nat MP should put his money where his mouth is

When politicians gob off in opinion pieces with local newspapers they really need to be struck about the head with a length of 2×4.

Alistair Scott has written expressing his support for the Ruataniwha Dam.

He is a rich man, will he invest in the dam, if not why not?

One of the major issues facing the Hawke’s Bay at the moment is the future of the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme (RWSS). As many people are probably aware the RWSS has faced some major hurdles recently and its future is not yet certain. There are currently four challenges to be completed in order for the RWSS to proceed. If they succeed, the RWSS will improve economic and environmental security for the Hawke’s Bay.

The biggest hurdle is the Board of Inquiry and then the High Court have found that contrary to claims by promotors the dam will actually turn the Tukituki river toxic. When I say toxic, you won;t be able to let the water touch your bare skin…it will be wader only.

The construction of the RWSS is expected to increase employment in the Hawke’s Bay by 3.5 per cent and GDP by 4 per cent.

Secondly, farmers must agree to take up at least 40 million cu m of water by the financial close.

Two problems there…it is temporary employment and there is no way anyone can guarantee that let alone a politician. The second problem is that no farmers will sign up for water. Alistair Scott is wealthy, he should look at the prospectus then tell us why he will invest or not. ?

The Hawke’s Bay region has experienced four consecutive years of drought, from 2006 to 2009, which has caused major stress on businesses and individuals who are reliant on successful and reliable agricultural production. The estimated benefit would be to irrigate 20 to 30,000ha of farmland. With climate change expected to further dry up the region, the RWSS will mitigate the effects by ensuring future availability of water.

Ok he has just proved he is stupid by mentioning climate change…but let’s ask the farmers reliant on Opuha dam how drought mitigation has?worked out for them this year. The only way this dam works for farmers is a massive subsidy from ratepayers to their benefit. With Alistair Scott supporting such a wealth transfer he is now part of the wet wing of National.

Thirdly, investment in the scheme must be confirmed before construction may proceed. The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has already committed to investing up to $80 million, subject to conditions being met. There are also ongoing discussions between potential private investors about funding options.

So how much are you going to tip in of your personal fortune Alistair? Why should other people invest if you won’t? Put your money where your mouth is.

The final challenge for the RWSS to overcome is the granting of consents. Already the issue has gone through the Environmental Protection Authority and has been considered by a Board of Inquiry. However, after a challenge in the High Court over one specific rule on nitrogen levels in the Tukituki Plan Change the matter was sent back to the board of inquiry to seek comments from all parties on redrafting the rule. This has unfortunately caused an extra delay in the process. Luckily a decision is expected early this year which will ensure finality on the matter. If the RWSS does not go ahead there will need to be a reduction of farming in the Central Hawke’s Bay in order to meet the new environmental parameters in the proposed Tukituki Plan Change. This will have a drastic effect on employment opportunities in the region. The RWSS is a project which will improve water quality and enable increased productivity.

His last sentence there is a lie. The current plan turns the Tukituki toxic…that is something that must not be allowed to occur simply to benefit less than 200 farmers. I would have no problems with this dam save for two issues.

The first is the massive subsidies involved, and the second is the plan to turn the Tukituki toxic. Irrigation schemes should improve water quality not degrade it.

It is obvious that Alistair Scott hasn’t read the Board of Inquiry results or the High Court judgments…or indeed the whole business case for the dam. He is just regurgitating the talking points that have already been slayed by the BOI and the High Court.

The man is proving himself to be a fool, a rich fool, but a fool nonetheless.


– HB Today