30 Jan 2014

Maori trust to build East Coast dam

6:33 am on 30 January 2014

A Maori organisation has won the right to build a dam on the East Coast.

Wi Pere Trust has got the tick of approval from Gisborne District Council to store water at Whatatutu.

Supplies will be taken from Waipaoa River and the dam will hold enough water to service tribal farmland, vineyards and orchards for 20 days during any drought.

Wi Pere Trust chair Alan Haronga says it will be built on an old river bed on tribal land, a convenient spot which can accommodate a 2000 cubic metre reservoir.

He says it is a form of drought protection to keep the trust businesses going through times when there are water restrictions.

Mr Haronga does not expect any criticism over the East Coast dam because it will be on Maori land.