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No Waimea dam

Written By: - Date published: 2:35 pm, August 17th, 2018 - 26 comments
Categories: Conservation, Environment, farming, greens, infrastructure, labour, national, nick smith, same old national, water - Tags:

Can’t see this Waimea Dam proceeding.

This is the last dam project still going with state funding support, since it was underway when the government changed last year. Crown Irrigation Investments Ltd has lent it over $22m via Tasman District Council. They are also offering the dam company a $10 million interest free loan, and a $7 million grant. The dam company have raised $16.5 million. That’s $55.5 million ready to go.

But new cost estimates have come in at up to $75.9 million, and they haven’t turned a spade on it yet.

It also needs the Department of Conservation to sell it nearly 10 hectares of land. Shades of Ruataniwha – pretty hard to see the Crown wanting to get pantsed again in the Supreme Court by Forest and Bird.

It also needs a local bill to go through Parliament for that land sale to occur. While it’s rare for a local bill to be opposed by Parliament, the Greens oppose it and it’s pretty hard to see Labour supporting it.

And it needs Tasman District Council to vote for it again on August 28th. I don’t yet see a majority for that vote.

Mayor Kempthorne said that security of water supply was a global issue as well as a very real local issue: “If we go into having no dam, then the constraints on water in Richmond, Mapua, Brightwater, Redwood Valley, Hope in the dry summer months will be very extreme. I am certain that if the dam does not proceed then it or another equivalent solution will be back on the table again at some point, that it will be more expensive and that we will have suffered significant economic, environmental and social costs in the meantime.”

The rain in Tasman really does fall mainly on the plain, but it arrives in great big bursts. Richmond for example has just had its mainstreet rebuilt top to bottom to cope with massive downpours and king tides. Followed by drought.

Somehow this burgeoning population and water-hungry horticultural-based economy needs secure water supplies.

National MP Nick Smith had 9 years and all the funding and political capital in the world to get this thing going.

But this dog won’t hunt.

26 comments on “No Waimea dam”

  1. marty mars 1

    Good. The people have spoken.

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    Ad. Your post doesn’t seem to correlate well with that of I/S @ NoRightTurn
    “Labour supports Muldoonism

    Last month, National’s Nick Smith pushed a Muldoonist bill aiming to force the Department of Conservation to surrender part of a protected forest park so farmers in his electorate can build a dam for irrigation. Sadly, it seems that Labour has decided to support it:
    However, the Labour Party caucus has agreed to support the legislation while Shane Jones, of NZ First, this week said the social and economic benefits of the dam were large. Nelson MP Dr Nick Smith, who is sponsoring the local bill, in July said he had secured support for it from all 56 National MPs.

    The local bill seeks to gain an inundation easement over 9.67 hectares of conservation land in the Mount Richmond State Forest Park needed for the creation of the reservoir for the proposed dam in the Lee Valley. The bill would also secure a right to construct the dam on Crown riverbed.

    [Green Party co-leader Marama] Davidson said the Green Party believed that conservation land should be protected for its innate values and that the transfer of conservation land “for use as part of a dam cannot be reconciled with the fundamental commitment to protect it for conservation”.

    The Green Party caucus was listening to the concerns of environmentalists “and the local community, and will not support the upcoming Waimea dam-enabling legislation”.

    So, when it comes to a choice between conservation and farmers, Labour chooses farmers. Its good to know which side they’re on, and that they cannot be relied upon to protect the environment. And hopefully, the Greens will be taking that into account when considering their support for government legislation in the future.”

    • Ad 2.1

      I will be as intrigued as you as to how it lands in the First Reading.

      But before that, whether it even survives the Council meeting on the 28th.

      If it doesn’t have that local democratic support I think Ardern will cut it and run.

      After that, there is zero chance Eugenie Sage as Conservation Minister will sign off the sale of land for that purpose.

    • coodale 2.2

      wow, if the Grns oppose it, then they should also offer a better proposal. Hope the local Grns can get some detail published in national news. This is from their website:

      “This dam is a ‘think big’ solution with significant downside risks. There are more sustainable and affordable ways to address the peak season water shortages facing the Tasman Region.”

      “More sustainable and affordable ways…

  3. Cinny 3

    Totally backing the Greens on this one. And as a rate payer am pissed off at the money wasted so far.

    Here’s an idea… how about those nick smith billboard promo farmers on the Waimea Plains, sort out their irrigation systems. Spraying water all over the road during the summer, they’ve been doing that for 30 years or more.

    Here’s another idea, maybe if the farmers on the Waimea Plains planted more tree’s there would be more grass and shelter for animals in the summer months.

    Don’t they get enough water from the rivers? By crikey, put in a desalination plant for irrigation. How much water do they need? There’s no shortage of rivers and streams.

    The valley is stunning, and should be kept that way.

    PS…. Don’t listen to the ‘drought’ narrative. It’s just spin.

    There’s always a few weeks of water restrictions, in the form of restricting outdoor watering.

    Keep your nose out of local body politics nick smith

  4. Exkiwiforces 4

    Having bush walked up there with my late grandfather over the years, also having hunted and fished up up there with my cousins in my youth/ early twenties. It would a shame to see it go under water, but my major concern about this dam is it’s between two known earthquake fault lines especially when geo boffins have been saying NZ is in a period of geological unrest atm.

    If the water is going to be for horticulture, growing hops, forest nursery purposes, cut flowers brewing beer etc then i’m probably would ok with the dam. But it’s to expand the dairy industry then no I won’t support it at all.

    It’s time to start value adding to our export and exporting low cost, value milk powder products

    • Cinny 4.1

      Won’t be for hops 🙂 Not on the waimea plains.

      There’s a number of dairy farms on the Appleby Straight (Waimea Plains)… every election you’ll see nick smiths signs on them. Those farms are run by some old boys, have been for decades, bugger all tree’s for the stock and their sprinklers spray all over the road in the summer.

      There’s also a few vineyards, nick smiths signs are usually on them as well.

      • Exkiwiforces 4.1.1

        Christ, dairying in a place that Isn’t suited for it expect for local town supply which usually on a small. I would hate to see and hear what my late grandfather would say, as they had a farm at the back of Thorpe/ Dovedale area.

        The Waimea Plans to me were full of Market gardens, Hops, Horticulture, Berries, Cut Flowers, Tobacco now banned, and Malt in between mix cropping, sheep, cattle and the dairies for the local supply.

        There are some great soils on the Waimea Plans along with some shitter soils, but they are wrecking it for exporting a low value product called milk powder instead of value adding exports like the MDF factory in Richmond which NZ should be doing.

        But hey let’s just export low value products or raw materials overseas just like Australia does for a quick buck instead of value adding, investing in new technology, also that means investing in our workforce for the long term future to increase the overall wealth of NZ therefore making New Zealand great again.

  5. Dorothy Bulling 5

    The answers may better lie in agriculture that is suitable for a local climate. If we irrigate everything we risk causing damage. Better to farm with the climate than against it. We have already seen huge damage to waterways round the country, encouraged in part by irrigation and farming unsuitably on land everywhere.

  6. Chris T 6

    I think we know now that when the Greens say they oppose something it doesn’t mean they won’t do it

    • Robert Guyton 6.1

      Because, sometimes, as a junior partner in a coalition Government, they have to do some things they are opposed to. I hope those “things” remain relatively inconsequential things.

      • Chris T 6.1.1

        Fair call

        You mean the opposite of them supporting the Waka jumping bill

        Where they don’t have to and it isn’t inconsequential

        • greywarshark 6.1.1.1

          Chris T
          You show all the signs of a good firestarter here. Just asking the cliche negative comments that get everyone’s teeth on edge.

      • Chris T 6.1.2

        Oh

        And they are “junior partner” because they chose to be

        • McFlock 6.1.2.1

          Nah.
          They’re the “junior partner” because everyone knew that NZ1 wouldn’t go with Lab without the Greens jumping on board, so either the Greens made some concessions or there’d be no lab govt. But both sides negotiated for their policies in good faith, so the greens are still partners and not supplicants or sellouts.

  7. Kevin 7

    Grow what the land can sustain. Simple really.

    • greywarshark 7.1

      Kevin iit isn’t simple. If the water isn’t there it doesn’t matter what the land can sustain.

  8. Andrea 8

    Be much easier to change the farming methods, catch the rain in the soils, use swales, and be quit of water demanding livestock farming (dairying).

    If the reservoir is needed for water security then those wishing to live in the area also have to do their part. Growing lawns needing frequent cutting, for example, is a stupidity we could readily phase. out.

  9. SPC 10

    It does look like going ahead, the company has said it will put in more. If the council does the same, then there is every chance Shane Jones will provincial fund it – he has said they need to put up their share of the increased cost which implies, if they do then he … .

  10. Ian 11

    Storage dams are a no brainer .Humans need fresh water to survive. Insurance against climate change.

    • Pat 11.1

      Thats true to an extent… water storage for unsuitable ag/hort on the other hand needs to be weighed very carefully against environmental impacts.

  11. greywarshark 12

    It all sounds so reasonable and practical. How many of the things that national have accomplished have been reasonable and practical. (Rhetorical question.)
    I don’t trust them appearing to care about the people’s future whether through the lips of Mayor Kempthorne or someone else. I can’t help thinking that we would end up if a dam was built, seeing cows replacing the berry fruit that the area has worked up into a good sized industry.

  12. Flossie 13

    As far as I am aware there is only one dairy farm on the Waimea Plains now. There has only been three in recent years that I am aware of and the most recent dairy conversion in Spring Grove is now being redeveloped as a hop garden. Likewise the one near Golden Hills corner has also been redeveloped to horticulture. There is a proliferation of hops being planted, presumably thanks to all the boutique breweries.
    The big problem with the Waimea Dam is that ratepayers are projected to pay for about 85% of it but use only 15% of the water. Another proposal of three smaller storage reservoirs at various points of the river is not even being considered by the pro dam councillors at this stage.
    The Lee Valley (the site of the dam) is a very popular swimming and picnicing area and the only fresh water river in the area for this purpose.
    I am very disappointed to see Labour supporting this dam.

  13. Philj 14

    This dam, was promoted from the start, for the corporate farmers. They have been unable to fund it and now expect the ratepayers to pay a huge amount. Labour must not bail in the ratepayers by bailing out the corporate interest.

  14. Don't worry. Be happy 15

    Will the wonderful swimming holes on the Lee River be destroyed?

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
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  • Living within our means.
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  • Transparency and the pandemic
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    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
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    PunditBy Liam Hehir
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  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
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  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
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  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
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  • All aboard the Covid Train
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  • We are all socialists now
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    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
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    2 weeks ago
  • Enlightenment when?
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  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
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  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
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  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
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    2 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
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    2 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
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    2 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
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    2 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
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    2 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
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    6 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
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    6 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
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    7 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
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    7 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago