Smith Welcomes Partnership Agreement on Waimea Community Dam

Nelson MP Nick Smith had welcomed the partnership agreement reached between the Tasman District Council and Waimea Irrigators Ltd as a significant step forward to progressing the Waimea Community Dam.

“This partnership agreement for the Waimea Community Dam is good for the Nelson environment and economy. It will deliver big gains in the ecological health and recreational opportunities in the Waimea River as well as enabling millions of dollars more to be earnt in exports and more jobs in our vibrant horticultural industries.”

“This partnership agreement is the product of more than a decade of investigations and discussions involving millions of dollars of ratepayer, taxpayer and irrigator’s money.  It involves a pragmatic sharing of costs for the dam between horticulturalists, ratepayers and taxpayers that stretches everybody but which is a fair and realistic approach of sharing the costs relative to the benefits.”

“The Government is making a sizable contribution to this project through a $7m grant and a $10m interest free loan to Council and a $25m loan to Waimea Irrigators. This recognises the significant public good from the project in lifting summer critical flows by five-fold, and the wider economic benefits of growing Nelson’s horticultural exports.”

“Dams are inherently controversial and difficult to consent and fund despite the common sense of storing the copious volumes of water in winter for summer use. We should look to the success of the Cobb, Maitai and Wai-iti dams that have all proved to be invaluable to Nelson’s energy and water security. I commend the Tasman District Council leadership and Waimea Irrigators in securing this partnership agreement and urge the wider Nelson and Tasman community to get behind this exciting project for the region.”

 

Hon Dr Nick Smith 

Member of Parliament for Nelson

28 September 2017