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Government Help Vital to Keep Dam Project Affordable

29 October 2014

NEW ZEALAND - A New Zealand farm body is lobbying the government to support a new dam project in the south island’s northern district.

Federated Farmers of New Zealand say that the Tasman District Council’s Waimea Dam will prevent a ‘critical shortage’ of water for urban and farm development and must be affordable.

“It’s not a matter of whether the dam goes ahead, it is how it goes ahead,” said Martin O’Connor, Federated Farmers Nelson provincial president.

“We are living in a catch 22, because the build is likely to cost irrigators $520 per hectare and increase rates by 11 cents per cubic metre a year, but our rural and urban communities cannot survive without it.”

Mr O’Connor said the region is ‘extremely sensitive’ to water flow changes, something that is ‘stunting’ business growth.

“The social and economic benefits of the dam reach far beyond the Waimea community, but it needs to be affordable.

“Right now the cost of the dam is pushing us into a desperate situation, but with the councils and Government’s support we can make this work, by softening the financial blow over time.”


TheSheepSite News Desk

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