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Dam project struggling to hold water

Tom Belford23 April 2016

That’s the title of Friday’s editorial in the NZ Herald commenting on the proposed Ruataniwha dam.

Here’s the concluding paragraph …

“Irrigation projects, properly designed and funded by those who benefit from them, play a vital role in the New Zealand economy. Schemes which need rules bent to get them over the line and financial risks shifted to those who derive little if any benefit should have to clear a very high bar. The longer the Ruataniwha project takes to tick all the boxes, then the case for it proceeding becomes harder to sustain.”

Here’s the full editorial. Worth a read.

Tom Belford

Tom Belford23 April 2016

5 responses to “Dam project struggling to hold water”

  1. Brian Anderson says:

    It is worth listening to the [lengthy] presentation by Geoff Butcher, and the following debate on the updated Butcher paper presented to the 13 April Regional Council meeting.

    Here . . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Chjin01gqM&feature=youtu.be

    Oh dear !! Talk about being led by the nose. Tom and a few other Councillors get it, but others don’t. The Butcher case sounds reasonable until you understand that it is built completely on base assumptions provided by HBRIC and their other consultants. Butcher himself is careful to point that out, but the significance seems to be lost on most Councillors.

    It is of fundamental importance in any business case to determine the reliability of the base assumptions, to test the sensitivity of the outcome against variations in the base assumptions and also the correlations between the assumptions.

    In fact there are very sophisticated tools available today to help do that. Tools that are widely used in large, capital intensive industries where significant risks are involved. This is an example . . http://www.palisade.com/risk/

    The presentation by Butcher suggests that nothing like this has been done. No proper risk assessment, no proper assessment of the probability profile for significant variables, no Monte Carlo analysis to reach a conclusion on the interrelationships and dependencies. In other words, only the most basic, simplistic and amateurish attempts to suggest changes in the outcome.

    Do you think HBRIC would have put the update to the Regional Council if it illustrated a less favourable outcome? Of course not. The base assumptions would have been selectively adjusted to achieve the desired result.

    Come on people, this is economic analysis Smoke and Mirrors. And still, there are Regional Councillors who are blind to the fact.

  2. tim gilbertson says:

    hooray!! now auckland has a view on the dam
    had any one asked donald trump for an opinion piece on the rwss. ?
    if not why not ?
    why have 190 farmers including me signed up in the hope that their farms will become drought free and our communities return to prosperity like those of oamaru and ashburton ?
    time will tell whether the dam is a good idea or not
    talk is cheap and opinion is free
    i am voting with my chequebook which is more than the nz herald is doing

    kai te pai

    l

    • William {Wills} says:

      And as a Ratepayer!!! I am voting with my Cheque book too Tim, there not a chance in HELL that I want anything to do with this absolute sour Lemon, there is no chance at all of any commercial investor stepping up to the plate to flush his money out to sea, therefore the only potential investors will be Government owned and controlled identities, the ACC is already sucking the rewards from the land leases which came via a fire sale!! this whole fiasco absolutely stinks and 5 years down the track we the ratepayers will be in exactly the same sinking ship as the residents of the very far North, and what makes it worse is that my retirement home is at the mercy of 5 corrupt Councilors, because if I have to stump up say $15,000 like they did, well at almost 70 we have no resources to pay for that!! $275 per week does not help pay for very much!! if you Farmers want a Water Dam, well best you get out there and pay for it just like every other Business has to!! plus I have not touched on here, about the shocking way this horrible situation has been inflicted on the Ratepayers, this must come very close to being a crime!!! it has almost come down to the fact, that if the Dam with it’s debt goes ahead, a lot of the Elderly will have to eliminate the proposed Debt liability and sell their homes?? this Dam will not be built for the proposed 300 million not even close, that figure is only a very low estimate to make it look good in the beginning, nearer 1000 million incl the distribution network would be closer to the mark in fact I will put it to you that the final cost if it goes ahead will be nearer 1000 million than 300 million!!…easily!
      If this project had been offered to the ratepayers, in an open and honest dialog situation right from the beginning it may well have ended up with 100% support, but the way they chose to Cloak and Dagger it onto us is nothing but a diabolical situation!! even the massive increase on the CEO’s salary, was hidden under a carpet square in a back storage shed.

  3. Tom Bostock says:

    Does Tim Gilbertson not realise that both the Oamaru and Ashburtnon water schemes are not up and running properly. Due mainly to a lack of water flow from the repective source rivers!

  4. Ian McIntosh says:

    Really Tim? Voting with your cheque-book is regarded as a corrupt practice in a true democracy.

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