Cost and timeline of Tasman's Waimea Dam swells again

Source: 1News

The estimated cost to complete the Waimea Dam in Tasman has increased again - now to $195 million, according to the organisation in charge of it.

Tasman's Waimea Dam as of April 2022.

In April, construction costs were estimated to be $185 million, up from the budget of $105 million when it originally signed off by the Tasman District Council in 2018.

The timeline for its completion is also being pushed back once more, with Waimea Water telling the Tasman District Council on Wednesday completion was now forecast to be in February next year.

That's seven months later than what was expected at the start of this year, and 16 months later than the original plan.

Waimea Water CEO Mike Scott called the delay and the associated costs "disappointing" and "frustrating".

He said a number of factors played a part - the geology of the land and the loss of 7000 hours of labour because of Covid-19 in the past quarter.

READ MORE: An exclusive look at NZ's largest dam to be built in decades

Scott said Waimea Water would "continue to push and help the contractor mitigate this delay", but that the current economic environment "means it is a tough time to source more project capability".

"There are certainly some costs that are outside of the project’s control, which are the same inflationary and Covid-related cost pressures that any construction project is currently facing."

Tasman's Waimea Dam as of April 2022.

He said issues with the geology - the construction team had had to work with softer argillite rather than harder sandstone - had been signalled earlier in the year.

The dam is more than 70% complete

Waimea Dam is the largest public dam to be built in New Zealand in more than 20 years.

The dam hopes to eventually provide water security for the Tasman region for the next 100 years.