13 Oct 2013

Special votes crucial in Hawke's Bay result

12:28 pm on 13 October 2013

The final makeup of Hawke's Bay Regional Council - and how much support it will give to a controversial dam project - will not be known until after special votes are counted on Wednesday.

On Saturday, incumbent councillor and Ruataniwha Dam supporter Kevin Rose held a 16-vote lead over a critic of the project, Tom Belford.

The council says it does not know how many special votes there are, but expects it to be in the hundreds.

Four of the nine regional councillors elected have said publicly they support the proposed dam.

At least three newly elected regional councillors have questioned the Ruataniwha Dam project and one new councillor, Dave Pipe, says he is neither for nor against it.

The outcome of the special votes between Tom Belford and Kevin Rose could then decide whether there is a majority of councillors who support the project.