The Supreme Court has ruled conservation land cannot be destroyed for the controversial Ruataniwha Dam.
Forest & Bird challenged a deal between the Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Council to acquire part of the protected Ruahine Forest Park so it could be flooded for the $900 million water storage and irrigation project. The scheme would dam 22ha of formerly-protected land and give the Department of Conservation 170ha of nearby farmland in return. The council's investment arm appealed to the Supreme Court after the Court of Appeal last year ruled the process of acquiring the land would be unlawful.
Forest & Bird chief executive is Kevin Hague.