More than 50 protesters braved the weather to voice their concerns about the Ruataniwha dam outside the Hawke's Bay Regional Council offices in Napier this morning.

Ranging from environmentalists to disaffected ratepayers to aspiring councillors - voicing their concern over aspects of the dam from the alleged environmental damage it will cause to the use of the port as collateral for the scheme.

Proceedings got underway quietly, with a few police and Hawke's Bay Regional Council security milling around, but quickly heated up when regional councillor Alan Dick and Central Hawke's Bay Mayor Peter Butler stepped outside to front up to the group.

Protesters wanted to know if Mr Butler had a plan B if the dam failed.
"You don't need a plan B," he responded "[not when] we have got the chance of jobs."


Meanwhile in a statement released today, the Green Party called on ACC not to "throw good money after bad by investing public money in the hugely controversial Ruataniwha Dam, which will be a disaster for the Hawke's Bay environment".

"The case for the Ruataniwha Dam doesn't stack up economically or environmentally, and ACC shouldn't be investing New Zealanders' money into it when private investors won't," Green Party water spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said.

"This dam should not be entirely funded by public money while the benefits of it will go to private users.

"Why should New Zealanders risk their own money to build a $333 million dam, that'll lead to more pollution in one of the Hawke's Bay's most beautiful rivers?

"This irrigation scheme will pour millions of litres of agricultural pollution back into the rivers in the Ruataniwha catchment.