Nelson MP Nick Smith says the heat is now on the eight councillors who opposed the Waimea Community Dam to come up with a credible alternative.
“The tragedy for Nelson and Tasman on yesterday’s decision is that the naysayers have won the day without putting forward a credible alternative. I fear for the future of the region when major infrastructure decisions whether it be the Southern Link or the Waimea Community Dam, that the opponents get away without having to find an alternative answer. The worst outcome for the region is doing nothing while the problems over water shortages and traffic congestion just keeps deteriorating. We cannot as a region go on kicking the can down the road and defer the difficult decisions.
“I appreciate the $38 million cost to the Tasman Council was a big ask but their negative decision now means we have thrown away $64 million worth of investment from the government and private investors. Every major infrastructure project, whether it was the Cobb or Maitai Dams or the Ruby Bay or Stoke Bypasses, seemed expensive at the time, but in hindsight were great value for money.
“This decision puts us in the hands of the weather gods. The councillors who voted no will deserve the wrath of the community if we get a dry summer with crop losses, job losses and disruptions to domestic and industrial water supplies.”