The Ruataniwha dam has the go-head with enough farmers signed up to allow the project to progress.
This was always going to be a challenge to get the required water-user uptake over the line.
A 35-year contract with provision for farm succession is a daunting new way of farming.
Despite plenty of reasons not to take part in the scheme, 196 farms were signed up at the end of April.
Project will bring jobs and prosperity to the region.
Immediately, the announcement dispelled certain commentary leading up to the decision. One was the Central Hawke's Bay (CHB) landscape was going to convert to a sea of dairy cows.
Well, slightly over-exaggerated, as just one of the 196 farms will be a new dairy conversion. Unfortunately, Greenpeace didn't get the right memo.
A few days later, they were burning diesel around Wellington transporting tonnes of dairy effluent (to the wrong government building) to protest about dairy cows in CHB.
With regards to farmer sign-up, we have had plenty of people, anything but experienced farmers or farm consultants, offer advice on how we can farm more profitability.
Economics 101 must have an intense section on farming because we have had a barrage of claims that Ruataniwha irrigation farmers will go broke.
This claim was backed by many opposition groups as a reason why the dam wouldn't proceed: there simply wouldn't be enough signed water contracts.
Yet there are 196 farms with signed contracts who obviously disagree.
It has been most surprising then to see that Councillor Hewitt has been accused of a conflict of interest as she owns land within the dam footprint - and she therefore stands to gain.
Hopefully you can understand my confusion. So the irrigation water will be too dear and farmers will lose money. But in the meantime land values will go up?
As each step of the process of the Ruataniwha dam has progressed, it has been a disturbing experience watching those opposing the scheme take a certain stance to suit their argument at the time, changing tack when they lose one step but move on to the next.
The Ruataniwha dam needs to go ahead. CHB will yield way more produce than it does now. All of Hawke's Bay will be provided with more jobs to grow, transport, process and sell.
That will spell prosperity which means choices for the region's residents in upgrading infrastructure, including roading and services.
In the meantime Tukituki Plan change 6 is under way and the catchment area will enjoy improved environmental outcomes.
What's there to oppose?