Meridian seeks iwi support for Mohaka dam

JONATHAN DOW
Meridian Energy is seeking the support of local iwi to build a hydro dam on the lower Mohaka River.
A consultation hui held in Hastings yesterday - which was billed as an opportunity to discuss issues relating to hydrodam development and update the whanau on investigations - attracted Ngati Pahauwera, who both supported and opposed a dam.
In the carpark at Te Taiwhenua O Heretaunga, Wi Derek Huata passed around a petition opposing the dam as about 20 people waited for the meeting to begin.
Ngati Pahauwera representatives, who organised yesterday's hui, have spent the last few days touring the country to meet with Ngati Pahuawera.
One representative, Ruku Wainohu, said people at the previous hui had supported the dam.
"Auckland was good. Hamilton was better. Wellington was excellent. Christchurch slipped back a bit, but there was less people there than we had expected."
The representatives' lawyer, Grant Powell, said the hui were not open to the media.
He said the hui were not to decide whether a hydro dam would go ahead.
"There's nothing to make a decision about until the investigation comes back," Mr Powell said. At the start of this year Meridian had engineers and surveyors on the river and were investigating a site for a dam in a ravine about 5km north of the Raupunga railway viaduct.
Meridian is uncertain when the investigation will be released.
When asked if Ngati Pahauwera support would make or break plans for the hydro dam Meridian spokesman Allan Seay said the iwi's support was "very important".
The last hui in this consultative round is at Te Huki marae, Raupunga, tonight.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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