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.