Waimea Irrigators shocked by TDC’s ‘no’ vote for Dam
Waimea Irrigators Limited (WIL) is shocked the Waimea Community Dam is not going ahead after Tasman District Council
decided today it would no longer continue planning for the Dam.
WIL Chair Murray King says the decision will have serious consequences for WIL shareholders and land users, who will now
be re-evaluating their future in the region.
“We are shocked. After nearly two decades of work confirming the Dam is the best option to solve the region’s acute
water shortage crisis, this decision is beyond disappointing. Already contributing the biggest share to the project, WIL
had signalled it was willing to stump up with more capital to help close the funding gap.”
Mr King says those Councillors who voted against the Dam will have to live with their decision that will have
far-reaching consequences for everyone living in Nelson Tasman, as local producers and industry stagnate or leave the
region to relocate to areas of New Zealand with water security.
“This is a short-sighted response inflamed by a vocal minority of ill-informed residents acting purely in self-interest
with no concerns for future generations. There are numerous economic reports outlining the negative impacts to the
community if the Dam does not go ahead, the most recent of which put the total financial and economic cost of the
‘No-Dam Alternative’ at more than $1 billion over the next 25 years. People living here will feel the effect of job
losses, fewer job opportunities, reduced local spending, and the loss of much-loved local businesses.”
The ‘no’ decision also has significant negative consequences for the environment, he says.
“Our environment, particularly the Waimea River, will suffer as a result of this decision today. How does the Tasman
District Council plan to meet its local and central government obligations for maintaining a healthy river?”
Meantime, the WIL board is scheduling a meeting to discuss the organisation’s future going forward.