Sharechat Logo

Farrant leads charge over Project Aqua

By Chris Hutching

Friday 19th September 2003

Text too small?
South Island businessman Ian Farrant is leading a group that has been negotiating with the government about compensation for the Waitaki Valley community affected by Meridian Energy's proposed $1.5 billion Project Aqua hydro generation scheme.

The rationale behind the compensation idea follows the government payment of $120 million to West Coasters when it closed indigenous timber logging three years ago.

Mr Farrant's team includes prominent farmer David Douglas, a director of Merino NZ, and ex-All Black Ian Hirst. They have been pointing out to the government the extraordinary scale of that Project Aqua canal system that will be as high as a five-level office building and wide enough to easily accommodate two Cook Strait ferries side by side. The canals will take about two-thirds of the Waitaki River's flow.

The team has argued once Project Aqua goes ahead the water will be irreversibly lost to the valley for other economic uses and it is impossible to know what New Zealand's requirements will be in 50 years' time or what the climate may be like. Agricultural spin-off industries like meat processing and transportation will be affected.

Mr Farrant has avoided naming a specific monetary figure, saying his position depends on the amount of irrigation Meridian makes available.

Meanwhile, Meridian's resource consent applications promise a massive feeding ground for lawyers and resource consultants. Although the government has intervened to set up a special panel to hear competing applicants for water, it has not called in all the consent applications.

  General Finance Advertising    

Comments from our readers

No comments yet

Add your comment:
Your name:
Your email:
Not displayed to the public
Comment:
Comments to Sharechat go through an approval process. Comments which are defamatory, abusive or in some way deemed inappropriate will not be approved. It is allowable to use some form of non-de-plume for your name, however we recommend real email addresses are used. Comments from free email addresses such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc may not be approved.

Related News:

MARKET CLOSE: Blue-chip stocks Meridian, A2 lead market lower
NZ dollar rises on Brexit hopes, rate cut reassessment
Three not failing, just needs a new owner - MediaWorks CEO
Major investors back new CBL class action targeting directors
Rip Curl purchase a done deal on Kathmandu proxies alone
Comvita chair Neil Craig eyes the exit once he finds a new CEO
Mercury raises guidance on increased storage, high spot prices
Eroad reports strong 3Q sales growth, eyes ASX listing
MediaWorks puts TV business on the block
NZ dollar benefits as preliminary Brexit deal improves risk appetite

IRG See IRG research reports