100 signatures reached
To: Tasman District Council
Stop work on the Waimea Dam, consider sustainable and affordable alternatives
We ask the Council to not approve the Waimea Dam project. We urge the Council to engage with ratepayers, and properly cost and consider alternatives to the Waimea Dam that are more sustainable and affordable.
We the undersigned do not support the proposed Waimea dam.
Why is this important?
The Tasman District Council mayor promised the public that they would “have their say” on the Waimea Dam, however he used his casting vote to prevent a referendum on this highly significant issue. Large numbers made submissions on the dam through the Long Term Plan process, but submissions were limited to governance and funding only. 85% of those submitting on the funding objected to the funding model, which would see all ratepayers forced to subsidize Waimea Irrigators.
Petition spokesperson Jon Pawley says,
“This petition is simply a way for the public to actually have their say on this hugely significant issue that involves all ratepayers for decades to come.”
The reasons given for objecting to the dam are not just about funding, as residents are generally happy to pay for essential regional assets like airports, libraries and museums.
A summary of objections include:
• The claims of funding in the latest news issued by TDC don’t even mention the ratepayers, or the fact that 82% of the water will be for irrigators whose portion of the costs is less than 20%. Further cost overruns, maintenance and operating costs will be overwhelmingly paid for by the ratepayers.
• The block of conservation land needed for the dam will require an act of parliament to inundate. This act could set a dangerous precedent for our natural environment.
• The claim that river health will improve, when it is more likely that the increase in intensified farming will result in further degradation of downstream waters. The recent study showing 72% of our freshwater fish are endangered or risk extinction, should be of concern and Dr Mike Joy said this is largely due to increases in irrigation which forces intensified farming methods.
• The claim that the dam will secure water supplies for 100 years, never tells the whole story, like that it is limited to a zone of benefit and has NO benefit for the rest of the region who will be paying for it.
• The significant leakage from the existing water supply system of 10,000 cubic metres of water per day needs to be investigated for urban needs. All future development, urban and rural, could take increased responsibility, just as all Golden Bay rural development is now required to provide their own 20,00 litres of water storage.
External parties have proposed alternative solutions to ensure Tasman District residents have a secure water supply, but so far council has refused to cost these options, focusing instead on presenting the Waimea Dam as the only possible option.
How it will be delivered
The petition will be delivered in person at the next Full Council meeting of the Tasman District Council, in Richmond, on 18 October 2018.