Following yesterday’s media reports that Wairoa District Council would seek compensation from Eastland Group for damaged caused to the Waihi River, the company’s chief executive, Matt Todd, says he has not yet received any detailed claims.
“If we do receive any such claims then we will deal with them responsibly. Right now we are working on fixing the problem, that is, we are focussed on completing repairs to the sluice gates damaged by extreme weather last year, and getting the dam back in operation as urgently as possible.” He said work to repair the gates continued yesterday with an amphibious excavator on site at the dam.
The 5MW hydroelectricity station on the Waihi River has been out of operation since December, following damage to sluice gates caused by extreme weather in 2015. An abatement notice from HBRC halted repair work due to the silt inflow into the Waiau River. The notice required the gates to be closed but damage to one of the gates prevented it closing.
Temporary gabion baskets Gabion baskets were installed downstream from the dam to collect silt seeping into the Waiau River. Mr Todd said silt was being collected and removed to approved clean-fill sites on nearby farmland, in accordance with HBRC requirements. “Yesterday three trucks and two excavators from QRS undertook this clean out of the baskets.”
He urged anyone affected by water supply issues to contact Brent Stewart, Eastland Network general manager, on 06 869-0700.
The Waihi hydro scheme is located at Lake Ruapapa on the Waihi River 26km north west of Wairoa and 78km south west of Gisborne and has a catchment area of 81.4km2 from the Panekiri range to the dam location.
IMAGE: QRS removing silt from temporary gabion baskets installed downstream from the Waihi Dam.