Devil looms in dam plan detail – Talking Point in HB Today

A guest blog from Grenville Chrisitie

The RWSS started with such optimism and support with headlines of ” prosperity for all ” and ” win/wins ” everywhere. We all should know the devil lies in the details and as the details have slowly been revealed, support for the project has been eroding away at a faster and faster rate until now it’s little more than a dead horse standing

A lot of support disappeared when it became clear the project needed to be allowed to pollute ground and surface water to succeed .

Much trust in the HBRC was lost at this point and it didn’t help their case when one of their strongest supporters came out with ” the Tuki Tuki is not worth protecting if it stands in the way of progress”.

As if pollution is ever progress .

Some of those who think agriculture should be allowed to pollute didn’t like the idea when it was suggested to them they shouldn’t mind if a chemical plant was built at Tikokino, taking community subsidised clean water in and dumping polluted water out into the
rivers .
I guess for some it’s church on Sunday, hypocrisy on Monday.

If Ivan Watkins Dow had a factory in mind, this scenario could play out as the HBRC are trying to set the environment bar so low even the geriatric Hugh Heffner could jump it without the aid of Viagra.

Support has been lost from many working people because long term jobs on offer are the sort that only desperate 3rd world wage slaves would take. The promised prosperity for all is based on the very discredited “trickle down ” theory.

All of the problems listed below are further reasons the Dam now has little support amongst the wider HB public.

The fear of earthquake, blocking of shingle to the coast speeding up coastal erosion, the massive public investment and risk for private gain in a boom and bust industry, risk to public ownership of the port when the bust happens, and loss of local communities when the corporates move in.

The concern about foreign ownership and where the profits end up, the walking away of major investors, the cost of water to farmers when it could be cheaper to buy in surplus feed when needed, the Treasury report which is endorsed by other farm economists saying the project is uneconomical .

The failure to adequately consult with Maori . Also encouraging industries that squander water in dry HB such as dairy. Everybody with half a brain knows that make as much sense as encouraging Eskimos to grow tomatoes

Now the RWSS is about to become even more unpopular with the attempt to unlawfully take conservation land for the dam users

This land was fought for and ring fenced by our father’s fathers for our children’s children and now our regional council want to cut that fence.

They call it a land swap but it is really a conservation land loss as no new land is being gained other than what already exists.

What the swap is that sacred land is sacrificed for corporate gain with all the problems listed above tied to them .

Theft would be a better word.

If the dam promoters get away with this, it sets a dangerous precedent for other conservation land anywhere in NZ to be used and degraded by commercial users for private profit

HBRC have just bought themselves a major fight over this which will delay their scheme even longer.

Even the most ardent supporter must be feeling despondent with the performance of the economic geniuses at HBRIC.

I mean, who in their right mind would spend $20 million with an ongoing cost of $250,000 per month on a project which requires land you don’t own and will not easily get title to?

Hardly a Bob Jones moment . This is all public money so maybe that make a difference

This ill conceived 3rd world plan would end if just one of the five councillors who support it were to change their mind.

When that happens HBRIC would no longer be the tail wagging the dog and we can start looking for genuine longterm solutions to how we store and use water.

Grenville Christie
was a Member of the RWSS Stakeholders Group for Forest & Bird

Published 20/3/15

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