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Bay farmers plead for dam to be built

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 26/01/2017 Sean Martin
Hawke's bay © Getty Images Hawke's bay

Hawke's Bay farmers face a bleak future and the local economy is under threat unless the Ruataniwha Dam is built, Federated Farmers says.

The controversial water storage scheme has been in the works for years but progress has been bedevilled by council disputes and legal challenges.

In the latest development, the Department of Conservation was in December granted a Supreme Court hearing to appeal a decision which quashed a land swap deal that would allow the scheme to go ahead.

"It's time to put aside the delaying tactics and negativity and get on with building the dam," said Federated Farmers Hawke's Bay provincial president Will Foley.

"It's getting to a stage now where surely it's obvious the dam is in the interests of everyone who cares about the Bay's future environment and economy."

Mr Foley says another drought threatens the region, aquifers are low, bores are running dry and little rain is forecast.

"We have to get on with building the dam otherwise our future is looking bleak and uncertain - it will be just too dry for our region's sustainability and the local economy, which relies on primary produce and manufacturing."

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