Up to $12.7m for Northland water projects

  • Rt Hon Winston Peters
  • Hon Shane Jones
Deputy Prime Minister Regional Economic Development

The Government will provide up to $12.7 million to make Northland more resilient in the face of extreme weather, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today.

“Water is critical for Northland’s economy and wellbeing but is increasingly under threat from floods and drought, declining rainfall and river flows and rising temperatures,” Winston Peters said at an event in Dargaville today.

“There are also increased demands on water resources from a growing population and economy.

“We are providing up to $12.745m through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) to ensure the region has a reliable water supply which can be used to develop underutilised land, grow new markets, create jobs and put more money into the local economy,” Winston Peters said.

The two water storage projects being funded are:

  • Northland Water Storage and Use Project – up to $12m for Northland Regional Council
  • Kai for Kaipara Water - $745,000 for Kaipara District Council

In 2018 the PGF provided up to $18.5m to Northland Regional Council to progress water storage projects in the Kaipara and mid-North regions through pre-feasibility work. The funding allowed only one of these to move to full feasibility and construction.

“We’re now providing additional funding to enable water storage projects in both regions to progress to construction,” Shane Jones said.

"Through this initiative Northland will be able to store water during peak flow times to use during dry periods. A reliable freshwater supply will lead to benefits that include providing landowners with greater land use options and the opportunity to develop new sustainable agriculture and horticulture markets,” Shane Jones said.

The PGF can be used to invest in water storage initiatives that will enable Māori land to be better utilised, strengthen regional economies, are environmentally sustainable, have local support and deliver benefits to communities.

The $745,000 PGF funding for the Kai for Kaipara project will enable Kaipara District Council to demonstrate a model that will give local landowners and external investors confidence that they can transition to high-value horticulture once a sustainable water supply is in place.

Kai for Kaipara is part of the Kaipara Kickstart package the Government announced last February. The PGF previously provided $980,000 to the project to explore new food and horticulture options for the region.

We want to ensure all New Zealanders share in a strong and growing economy and the PGF is at the heart of the Government’s mission to grow New Zealand’s regions,” Shane Jones said.

Notes to editors:

Funding from the Provincial Growth Fund is approved in principle and announced, after which contracts are negotiated. Some funding may depend on completion of business cases. Payments are made once agreed milestones are met. These are set as part of contract negotiations, and differ from project to project.