Reduce the over allocation – Letter to Dominion

Sir

Iain Maxwell (Tukituki campaigner hails plan to irrigate 14/5/13) uses the analogy of a house to describe the current condition of the Tukituki by explaining that “at the moment the fish have a roof and one wall”. What he fails to mention is that the reason his ‘house’ is in such a state of disrepair is because of over allocation of water takes by the Hawkes Bay Regional Council in the first place. Instead of risking ratepayers equity in the Port of Napier by borrowing $80m to spend on a big bang solution, HBRC could simply reduce the permitted takes from the Tukituki to bring the river back to a state of equilibrium. This would cost us, the rate payers nothing and have the desired effect. I acknowledge that this may frustrate some farmers however if they cannot operate their businesses without destroying the Tukituki then perhaps they should consider doing something else. There are solutions to the quality of the Tukituki that do not involve intensive dairying and cropping on 30,000 ha of the Ruataniwhia Plains, nor the economic and social risks involved with damming the Makaroro River.

Submitted 14/5/13

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