A group denied permission to speak to councillors about the controversial Ruataniwha dam wants to see it put on hold for six months to allow better public consideration of the multi-million project.
Hawke's Bay Regional Council meets today to vote on whether to apply for a resource consent to build the dam in Central Hawke's Bay.
Te Taiao Hawke's Bay Environment Forum asked to speak to the council's environment committee on October 17 to highlight the problems it has with the Tukituki Choices document, which sets out management options for the Tukituki River and the dam project.
Co-ordinator John Cheyne said the group was denied its chance to speak by the council's chairman, Fenton Wilson, on advice from the council's chief executive, Andrew Newman.
Mr Cheyne said the group instead wrote to all of the regional councillors and managed to meet with a few ahead of the important meeting.
"Mr Wilson said we couldn't speak to the councillors on the Tukituki Choices document because it would give us an unfair advantage over other submitters who only were allowed to write in.
"There is some merit in that but we also weren't allowed to speak to councillors about the dam because Mr Wilson said the dam had been covered in the long-term plan, but that's a load of rubbish."
Mr Cheyne said there were "very few" reports available on the dam when the long-term plan was up for review earlier this year.
"Some of our members are opposed, others are not opposed if the dam met our environmental bottom lines, which at this stage it does not and there hasn't been any interest from the council to talk to us."
The group believed the dam had risks which were not tested including what the uptake from farmers would be to make it viable and the ownership of the asset.
Mr Cheyne wrote to councillors this week and said the speed at which the council had worked to move the dam forward was too rapid for a project of "this magnitude and complexity".