Food for thought on Dam price – Letter to HB Today

I’m guessing your subbies must have been having a bad day on Saturday. It happens to the best of us. In your article Ruataniwha farm water price set (22/2/14) my quote “If they don’t get the uptake are they going to subsidise it at ratepayers?” is missing one important word after ratepayers. Expense. So the quote should have read “If they don’t get the uptake are they going to subsidise it at ratepayers expense?”

Why would a farmer investor want to pay 23c when they can go down south and pay 10c? If dairying is not going to uptake (according to Will Foley), and horticulture is not going to uptake (according to John Bostock), will intensive cropping uptake given the climatic risks of farming on the Ruataniwha plains such as frost and wind? You can’t engineer out those risks.

So either the ratepayer subsidises the farmers, or HBRIC sells the port to finance the dam in much the same way that they have already sold the futures to the leasehold properties in Napier. Food for thought.

Submitted 24/2/14

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