[6 August/Stuff]

Tasman District Council has applied to the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund in relation to the proposed Waimea dam. A guide to the fund specifically had an exclusion for water and large-scale irrigation, so it may preclude the dam project which had received funding commitments from Crown Irrigation Investments. It was to provide the council with a $10 million interest free loan for the dam project. Tasman District Council Relations Manager, Chris Choat, said the council accepted the fund did not provide for high value irrigation schemes, but added the Waimea was more than an irrigation project. The application was still open for consideration. Regional Economic Development Director, John Doorbar, said anyone was welcome to apply for funding through the fund. They were looking for $18 million in funding. It had an unexpected $26 million increase in costs which would post a challenge that TDC Chief Executive, Janine Dowding, said could result in the decision to end the project being made.