The proposed Ruataniwha Dam is the poster child of Big Irrigation.  

It stands as a symbol of the Government's agenda to prop up industrial dairying despite the fact that it’s poisoning our waterways and indebting farmers.

Because of this we can be assured that, blinded by ideology and greed the Government and those with vested interests will stop at nothing to get the dam thing built.

So even though the Court of Appeal has ruled that the dam company cannot kill the 22-hectare piece of forest protected by the Conservation Act that is getting in the way of their dam we cannot celebrate the demise of the dam just yet.

When it comes to that precious piece of conservation land here is what could happen next:

They could try, using the Public Works Act to forcibly take this forest from the hands of the public and deliver it to the hands of a few who will kill it for their own private commercial gain.  

Some of the Hawke’s Bay Regional Councillors have already had the gall to try and lead the public to believe that killing forests and damming rivers is good for the environment, which it doesn’t take an expert to see is patently impossible. 

So maybe they will have the gall to try to use the Act to forcibly take this land off the public. 

Or they could take the case up to the Supreme Court where it’s possible that Forest and Bird could lose the case there.

So the fight is not over.  The local body elections are in October and they look set to be a referendum on the dam.  If enough sensible councillors are elected they can pull out the 80 million ratepayer dollars that the dam needs, and then it might truly be over. 

But until then, the campaign to stop this dam continues.  

And it’s never been more important than right now, because the battle over this dam is really battle over whether we continue on with an industrial approach to food and farming which indebts farmers and toxifies our waterways or we, as a nation shift to a new era of ecological farming which looks after our land, our people and our water.