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Nelson MP Nick Smith has commended the Tasman District Council for considering a local bill to resolve the issue of access to DOC land for the Waimea Community Dam.

“A local bill is a good solution and I will do everything possible to ensure its passage through Parliament.”

“The crown land that would be inundated by the dam has little current recreational use and the environmental gains of the project far outweigh the loss. The 9.6ha amounts to just 0.006% of the vast Mt Richmond Forest Park of 166,000 ha.”

“The Governments needs to support making this land available for this project. The Tasman District Council negotiated with DOC a significant biodiversity package that is already underway and it would be a breach of good faith to go back on this agreement. The new Coalition Government has publicly committed to honouring the funding commitments to the project made by the previous National Government, but these commitments would be meaningless if Government now blocked access to the land.”

“The Waimea Community Dam is a critical project for Nelson’s regional economy and environment. I commit to working with the Tasman Council and with all parties in Parliament to help pass the necessary legislation so as to ensure the dam can progress.

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