27 Jun 2014

Maori consulted over dam plan - board

6:50 am on 27 June 2014

Allegations that some tribal groups had not been consulted about the proposed Ruataniwha dam have been dismissed by a Board of Inquiry.

Ngati Kahungunu and Te Taiwhenua O Heretaunga argued consultation by Hawke's Bay Regional Council was inadequate.

But the Board of Inquiry said there was a relatively high level of consultation with Maori.

It said this was done through the Maori Advisory Committee, the Mana Whenua Working Party, marae and hapu hui, and via hui-a-iwi.

Both Ngati Kahungunu and Heretaunga claim the council bypassed the Maori Advisory Committee in favour of engaging with another tribal group, Te Taiwhenua o Tamatea.

But the board concluded that allegation was not borne out by the minutes of Maori Advisory Committee meetings.

The Board of Inquiry on Thursday ruled the dam and the Tukituki catchment plan can proceed, but both phosphorus and nitrogen must be kept at levels that ensure the area's rivers can sustain life.