Local News kindly sponsored by: New World DANNEVIRKE

Thursday 10th August

An application from the Hawke's Bay Regional Council for funding to enhance the Tukituki catchment has been unsuccessful.

The Council applied for grants for four areas from the Ministry for the Environments's Freshwater Improvement Fund.

The Ministry announced this week that Lake Tutira and Lake Whakaki were both being considered for significant funding grants, while applications for the Ahuriri Estuary and the Tukituki catchment were unsucessful.

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Federated Farmers says pledges from the Labour party to consult on its plans for a royalty on irrigation water have eased the concerns of farmers - but only by a tiny margin.

The organisations water spokesperson, Chris Allen, said consultation is welcome, but talking won't allay the fears of farmers of where this could go.

He said Federated Farmers remained opposed to any royalty on irrigation water, especially when it remains unclear what purpose it would serve, other than adding another tax.

Mr Allen said the 10 cents a litre figure some had bandied around would bankrupt farmers, and cripple our export competitiveness and regional economies.

He said despite the plans to consult, farmers remain terrified by the potential impacts on farming families, rural communities and the entire economy.

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The New Zealand Transport Agency has delayed plans to close the Saddle Road to westbound traffic over the next two days.

A spokesperson said forecast rain over the next few days means the scheduled westbound closures today and tomorrow have been postponed, with the Saddle Road remaining open in both directions for the remainder of this week.

The closures are now scheduled from Monday to Wednesday of next week between the hours of 9am and 3pm.

The spokesperson said the works are subject to weather and may be postponed to a later date.