Nelson MP Nick Smith has welcomed today’s report to Parliament from the Governance and Administration Select Committee on the Tasman District Council (Waimea Water Augmentation) Bill and its unanimous support for the Bill’s passage.
“The Select Committee was strongly influenced by the strength of submissions from the Council, environmentalists and water scientists that the dam was necessary to address the significant minimum flow and water quality problems in summer.
“The compelling economic case put by horticulturalists like Boysenberries NZ and industries like Nelson Pine also satisfied the Committee that the dam was in the best economic interests of the region.
“The Select Committee has made three changes to the Bill in response to submissions. Firstly, the request for the Council to provide public access over the 9.7ha of public conservation land has been strengthened in response to concerns from Fish and Game, Federated Mountain Clubs and the Walking Access Commission. Secondly, the time to begin construction of the dam without requiring further law change has been extended from 2020 to 2025. Thirdly, the protections for iwi with a first right of refusal over the land in the event the dam is ever decommissioned in future has been strengthened to ensure local Treaty settlements must be honoured.
“The Select Committee report and amended Bill were tabled in Parliament today and the Departmental Report and all submissions are also now available on Parliament’s website.
“The timetable for passage by Christmas is tight with the Bill requiring a second reading, a clause by clause debate and a third reading. My objective remains to get the Bill passed by Christmas to enable dam construction work to start in the New Year.”