Home' Hastings Mail : January 17th 2012 Contents 7
HASTINGS MAIL, JANUARY 18, 2012
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Water-storage dam offers
a huge boost for region
Heinz Wattie s could be just the first
of many horticulture-based compan-
ies to relocate to Hawke s Bay if the
Ruataniwha Dam project goes
ahead, the Hawke s Bay Regional
As part of the feasibility study into
the 90-millioncubic metre water
storage project at the foot of the Rua-
hine ranges, the council had been
talking to companies likely to be
attracted by a secure water supply.
Regional council chief executive
Andrew Newman said staff had
talked to about eight international
and domestic companies but would
not elaborate on who they were.
With its good growing land and a
commercial port, security of water
would make the region very attract-
ive to companies requiring consis-
tent access to produce for its manu-
facturing processes, he said.
Watties was moving its tomato
sauce production from Australia to
Hawke s Bay.
Building the dam, projected to cost
up to $200 million, would not start
before 2014 given the amount of
planning and consent work required,
and Mr Newman stressed that going
ahead with the project at all rested
on the results of the feasibility study.
That work was due to be com-
pleted in about six months.
The next step would be lodging a
consent application, which could
take up to 12 months, after which
detailed engineering design would
take 12 to 18 months.
Initial investigations had been
going on for about four years, with a
pre-feasibility study completed in
Mr Newman said it grew from the
knowledge that the region could not
keep taking water from the Tukituki
River at the rate it had been, never
mind cope with forecasted increasing
Mr Newman said maintaining
adequate water supplies was becom-
ing increasingly difficult in places
like Australia, giving regions like
Hawke s Bay an advantage if it could
New Zealand actually has plenty
of water but it s locational and
seasonal, so the question becomes
one of storage, using times of high
water availability to store water [for
Getting water onto the land would
be expensive, according to the pre-
feasibility report. It estimated the
cost as close to $1000 per hectare per
year, but said the project would pro-
vide significant opportunity for
increasing productivity and income
for farmers and the region.
Those wanting to investigate selling red
wine, or in fact any Hawke s Bay product,
into China are about to get a helping hand
from the Hawke s Bay Chamber of
The chamber has employed Chinese-
speaking Hastings old-boy Jim Poppelwell to
work with Bay businesses already exporting
or wanting to export to the world s most
Chamber chief executive Murray Douglas
said the Chinese initiative came just ahead of
another step in New Zealand s trade agree-
ment with China in March.
That agreement would see New Zealand
winemakers able to sell their product into
China 16 per cent cheaper than Australian
If we can t sell our red wine into China
under those terms there s something wrong.
Mr Douglas believed the opportunities for
red-wine makers were endless , given the
Chinese penchant for its colour, and Hawke s
Bay s acknowledged wine quality.
Mr Poppelwell studied languages, princi-
pally Chinese, at university before heading
off overseas, finally settling in Taiwan in
2000 for three years, then taking up resi-
dence in China.
Working primarily in strategic marketing
and branding in Shanghai in China had
furnished him with skills the chamber
believed could help Hawke s Bay producers
inch their way into that market.
He would work with companies already
exporting to China doing things like sharing
containers with other exporters, and give
guidance to those wanting to enter the mar-
ket, Mr Douglas said.
Mr Poppelwell, who started this week, said
he could help in several ways, including
advising companies on whether their product
was likely to be accepted in the Chinese
market, how to pitch it, and protocols.
Why holiday?: The Chamber of Commerce hopes to encourage new building activity.
Get building in Bay plea
Residential building consent applications
have plummeted in Hawke s Bay, leaving
builders desperate for work and
prompting the region s chamber of com-
merce to set up a campaign to kick-start
In Napier and Hastings the number of
building consents processed by the
respective councils continued to slide to
at least half the numbers of six years ago.
To try and survive the on-going slump,
some small building companies have
consolidated, some one or two-man buil-
ders dropped out of the industry
altogether, and others reduced staff dra-
matically , said Hawke s Bay Chamber of
Commerce chief executive Murray Doug-
las.The chamber launched Build in the
Bay this month.
Billboards had been erected across the
region to tempt holidaymakers to con-
sider moving to the region, and a coming
website campaign would target the
The campaign is being run by Business
Hawke s Bay, a division of Hawke s Bay
Chamber of Commerce.
2011 was not a great year for residen-
tial construction in our area, said Mr
A slump in residential building affec-
ted more than just the trades involved in
putting up houses, he said.
It s what we call a tug-boat industry,
in that it draws behind it a whole other
range of business. Things like carpet and
fridge sales, surveyors -- even lawyers
doing the property conveyancing.
It also had the potential to adversely
affect polytechnic building courses, as
they relied on students being able to get
on-site work locally, he said.
The chamber consulted building supply
companies and about 12 builders to
develop the campaign.
If someone puts their hand up and
says they want to move here we can help
with the whole package, finding jobs,
schools, building opportunities, said Mr
While those wanting to buy existing
homes could also make use of the service,
new building was being encouraged
because of the potential advantage to a
broad range of businesses in the Hawke s
Statistics provided by the Napier and
Hastings councils showed a steady
decline in building consents over the past
In Napier, residential building con-
sents had more than halved in the past
six years, from a high of 383 in the
2005-2006 financial year, to 168 in the
Hastings District Council processed
just 175 consents in the past 12 months
-- half the 359 it did six years ago.
It was hoped the new programme
would encourage people thinking of mak-
ing a move from their home town to con-
sider Hawke s Bay as an option.
The Bay needs people and the residen-
tial construction industry needs work --
this project is designed to act as a magnet
to integrate with other sectors of our
economy, such as retail, which would also
benefit from new household spending,
Mr Douglas said.
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