The Mokihinui River dam would not go ahead, Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee reportedly told a meeting last night.

Meridian Energy was awaiting consent to build an 85m-high dam on the Mokihinui River, 3km upstream from Seddonville, northeast of Westport.

The dam would create a 14km lake and produce enough electricity for up to 51,000 households.

Independent commissioners were expected to make a decision shortly.

Forest and Bird spokeswoman Debs Martin asked Mr Brownlee about the dam at a Grey Power meeting in Nelson on Monday.

He responded: "The Mokihinui will not go ahead".

Ms Martin issued a statement today welcoming his position.

She said he also told the meeting: "I don't think you are going to see any large scale dams built in the foreseeable future."

The Department of Conservation and the West Coast Regional and Buller District councils were among those who opposed the dam.

They believed it would have a significant environmental and social impact, destroying forest and vegetation, altering the landscape and threatening a number of species including the blue duck, and whitebait catches.

- NZPA