The dam would be in a ravine about 5km north of the Raupunga railway viaduct. The lake would be below the stretch of river, ending at Willow Flat, that is protected by a water conservation order imposed in 2004.

It is understood one model of the scheme has a 50m high dam that would form a narrow lake that would stretch about 15km to Willow Flat and provide enough energy to power a city the size of Gisborne.

According to reports in local media, Meridian is exploring the potential for hydro development outside the area protected by the water-conservation order.

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