16 Apr 2014

Marae group happy with dam decision

6:47 am on 16 April 2014

A marae collective believes its appeals for the protection of the environment have been recognised in a decision on the Ruataniwha dam.

Hawke's Bay Regional Council has been granted resource consent for the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme by a Board of Inquiry draft decision but there are stringent conditions - such as the management of nutrient levels. The conditions also aim to make sure water quality upstream is sustainable.

Roger Maaka chairs a collective of nine marae, most of which run along the Tukituki River, which would feed into the scheme. He said he was satisfied with the interim decision and had no complaints with it.

The collective was backing the scheme and had signed an agreement with the council last year but Mr Maaka said it had been made clear the environment needed to be looked after.

Ngati Kahungunu is also satisfied with the Board of Inquiry decision, saying it recognises the tribe's environmental concerns.

Ngati Kahungunu Runanga said it was pleased the board had acknowledged the mauri [life force] of the Tukituki River and the land.

The draft decision applied greater protection measures than the council proposed to the water quality, it said.