Cart before the horse with water project

Friday July 25, 2014 Published in Letters to the Editor
Te Mato Vai workers replacing Rarotonga's ring mains. 14060609 Te Mato Vai workers replacing Rarotonga's ring mains. 14060609

Dear Editor, The main public road that circles Rarotonga is some 10 metres in width.

The marked centre line will be close enough to the centre of that legal right of way to make the observance that Te Mato Vai is installing much of the new water piping on private property.

Teariki Heather has stated publicly that out of the $65 million that there is no money to purchase rights of way for those pipelines and that Government will be using its powers to take those private lands by warrant.

What Mr Heather has not included is the fact that Government has to pay fair market value for any land taken by warrant. When does Te Mato Vai intend to deal with this fact? After all the pipes are installed on private land?

Any right of way that will allow those now buried pipes to be maintained would have to be at least three metres wide to allow a digger to have room to work in future. That comes to about 60 acres of land that will have to be paid for. At a nominal $40 per square metre, that's just short of $10 million. Cut that in half and it's still a bit more than pocket change.

The same applies to the rights of way from the water intakes and the water intakes themselves that Mr Heather says will be taken by warrant.

Just one more little hiccup when you start a $65 million boondoggle while you are still drawing up the master plan?

Cart before the horse

(Name and address supplied)

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