BREAKING: Greenpeace uplifts Ruataniwha dam site office – returns to sender

Press release - September 13, 2016
Greenpeace has uplifted the site office of the proposed Ruataniwha Dam and delivered it to the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council offices in Napier.

Early this morning, a Greenpeace team removed the site office at Tikokino using a hiab truck, depositing it outside the front doors of the HBRC building, 100 kilometres away in Napier.

It says the council needs to scrap plans for the controversial dam in order to protect local waterways, and it’s helping the council do so by returning the site office to sender.

“After what’s happened in Havelock North, the council needs to put people’s health before more industrial dairying and drop the Ruataniwha Dam,” Greenpeace Agriculture Campaigner Genevieve Toop said from Napier.

“Local waterways in Hawke’s Bay are already polluted and under pressure. The dam will compound these problems by driving more intensive dairy farming.”

The return-to-sender comes just days out from voting papers landing in people’s letterboxes for the upcoming local elections.

“The new council will be an important deciding factor in whether the dam goes ahead,” said Ms Toop. “Water quality is expected to be front of mind for many voters.”

Greenpeace is not alone in calling on the regional council to drop the dam. In the last few weeks, over 70,000 emails have been sent to the councillors asking them to halt the scheme.

“People are putting two and two together, and realising that big irrigation schemes like Ruataniwha increase the risk to New Zealand’s waterways,” said Ms Toop.

“The council has wasted millions of ratepayer dollars and six years on this dam and they’ve got nothing to show for it apart from mounting public opposition. 

“They need to stop using public money to prop up industrial dairying and instead support ecological farming that looks after our land, people and water.”