NZ Herald: Watchdogs explain giving dam go-ahead

Eloise Gibson writes in the New Zealand Herald about the explanation by commissioners of why they gave consent for an 80m-high hydro dam in the Mokihinui Gorge.

The Gorge, while beautiful, was not felt to be particularly unique, and the hydro-dam to be implemented would give locals a more reliable power supply and help reduce reliance on non-renewable energy generation, they said.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“The three commissioners agreed that losing 280ha of native forest and the homes of native ducks and snails was a serious downside.

“State-owned power company Meridian has offered to partially make up for it by clearing a 6000ha sanctuary for native species in the lower reaches of the river.

“Buller Mayor Pat McManus is happy because he says construction will employ more than 300 people over three years, dropping to six once the dam is running.

“But whitewater kayakers, trampers and fishermen – including Revenue Minister United Future leader Peter Dunne – are furious.”