In his Talking Point ‘Water prices not too costly’ (7/9/15) Andrew Pearce claims that “the on farm economics were robustly tested in the Board of Inquiry hearings”. I would love Mr Pearce to point me to the relative transcript where this happened. The BOI process hearings commenced in November 2013. I have to question how robust any discussion of on farm economics could have been given that the price of the water wasn’t set until February 2014 and therefore could not be presented as evidence.
It is very well to say that the availability of rainfall was also robustly tested in the BOI when there was insufficient data collected to make a reasonable argument otherwise. It costs money to mount challenges to science presented as evidence. Unlike HBRIC, opponents to the scheme did not have access to the public purse. No doubt a decision was made to invest money fighting more important issues such as HBRIC’s desire to pollute the Tukituki. A decision that went against HBRIC and is costing them dearly in terms of the speed of farmer sign-up.
Also, I have had a number of people question me if there would have been sufficient rainfall to full the reservoir this winter given it has been so dry. I think this is a valid question. It would be interesting to know the answer. Perhaps HBRC could be of assistance.