CHB people gathered in Waipukurau in their droves this morning to support the proposed Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme. The dam.
I was going to say hundreds of people lined the streets, but I really have no way of quantifying how many people were there. Watch the news tonight – they might tell you. Suffice to say, in Kate terms, there were lots and lots.
Farmers, bankers, fertiliser reps, spreader drivers and two former regional councillors Ewan McGregor and Kevin Rose, who are probably secretly glad the decision is not up to them anymore.
There were tractors, utes, motorbikes, stock trucks and a few huntaways.
The rally was called Don’t Damn the Dam – organised by two local electricians who looked blown away by the level of support they had encouraged. Gavin Streeter and Shane Heaton are directors of Isaac’s Pumping and Electrical and took it upon themselves to show the grassroots backing for the project.
“The project has been bashed to pieces in the media with the coverage focusing on the Environmental Protection Authority and how councillors are voting. We want to take a different approach – this is a rally by the people for the people – the entire Hawke’s Bay community needs to get behind this and show their support in the face of the negative attention the process is receiving,” Mr Streeter said.
After clogging up the state highway system for a wee while, the vehicle possession (bigger than the annual Christmas parade but no Santa!!) parked up and the “green space” on “post office corner” was filled with claps and cheers for Mr Streeter and Mr Heaton, HB Federated Farmers president Will Foley and local fifth-generation farmer (and CHBDC district councillor) Andrew Watts. We also heard from someone from Timaru who had seen the growth in South Canterbury from the Opuha dam and resulting irrigation systems.
Have to go to school assembly soon for a gymnastics display… so here are some photos…. Actually, had to go to assembly… so now I have to start loading so I can do soccer pick up!!
and last but not least, the two men who put their hands up and said “Don’t damn the dam”.