Wednesday March 29, 2017   Last updated 20:18PM
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Massive irrigation scheme endorsed
Image Source: http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/photograph/19610/waitaki-irrigation-scheme

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A Māori academic is backing a controversial water storage scheme in central Hawkes Bay.

Roger Maaka, the Dean of the Māori facility at the Eastern Institute of Technology, says the proposed Ruataniwha dam will provide employment and investment opportunities for iwi groups.

Professor Maaka says he has links to the four marae in the catchment area.

He has been a member of the Ruataniwha Water Storage Leadership Group for two and a half years.

He says the science he has seen indicates the environment and mauri of the Makaroro, Waipawa and Tukituki rivers will be enhanced by the scheme.

Professor Maaka says it is vital that local Māori and hapū play a key role in the scheme.



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