Change in responsibilities for Crown irrigation bodies

  • Nathan Guy
Primary Industries

A change in responsibilities for the Government’s irrigation programmes will help streamline and speed up water storage projects, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has announced today.

From 1 July, Crown Irrigation Investments Limited (CIIL) will take over the responsibility for funding grants to regional irrigation schemes in the early stages of development, which are matched by local backers. This role has previously been carried out by the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Irrigation Acceleration Fund (IAF).

“It makes sense to have a single agency looking after this funding as well as CIIL’s current role of commercially investing in projects which are investment-ready,” says Mr Guy.

“Having the commercial expertise of CIIL involved at an earlier stage will help schemes get to the investment-ready stage even sooner.

“The IAF will continue to support the development of smaller community irrigation infrastructure and strategic water management studies, which is worth around $2.5 million.

“A reliable supply of water is extremely important to the primary sector and wider economy, especially given the severe droughts we’ve suffered in many parts of the country.

“Irrigation and water storage projects have given a major boost to parts of the country like North Otago and mid Canterbury, and can also offer real environmental benefits by improving river flows and reducing pressure on groundwater sources.”

The amount of government funding available through the IAF for supporting irrigation remains the same and development funding will still be provided through grants.

MPI will continue to be the first point of contact for all new irrigation schemes and all schemes will continue to be assessed on their commercial viability and regional economic outcomes, as well as their social, cultural, and environmental benefits.

MPI and CIIL will ensure there is a smooth transition for the affected regional irrigation schemes.

For more information about the Irrigation Acceleration Fund and the changes, visit www.mpi.govt.nz