Hurunui water project gets $520,000 boost

  • Nathan Guy
Primary Industries

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has welcomed new funding of $520,000 for the Hurunui Water Project centred around Hawarden in North Canterbury.

“A reliable source of water in this very dry part of the country has major potential to increase production, grow exports and create jobs,” says Mr Guy.

The funding comes from the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Irrigation Acceleration Fund and will help refine the scheme layout and scope the comprehensive work programme. This will help them deliver on Stage 1 in which 10,000-15,000 hectares will be irrigated.

“Once complete the full scheme has the potential to irrigate 35,000 hectares of land. Around 70% of that land will be used for sheep and beef production, with the other 30% being for arable, dairy and other uses.”

“This area has been in serious drought for nearly 18 months now and the lack of a reliable water supply has been a major burden.”

Through the Irrigation Acceleration Fund, MPI supports irrigation infrastructure proposals with matched funding to the stage where they are investment ready. This means they must be commercially robust and demonstrate a high level of community support.

“As a Government we are strong supporters of irrigation and water storage. We have allocated $120 million to Crown Irrigation Investments Ltd over the last three years, and $25 million extra towards the IAF in last year’s Budget.

“In 2012, 722,000 hectares of land was under irrigation, of which 115,300 hectares had received some form of Crown funding. We now have 276,500 hectares of land with Crown assisted irrigation schemes in progress, so we are on track to meet our goal of one million hectares by 2025.

“A recent report by NZIER found that irrigation contributes $2.2 billion to the national economy and this has the potential to increase further.”

For more information on the Irrigation Acceleration Fund, visit here: http://mpi.govt.nz/funding-and-programmes/natural-resources/irrigation-acceleration-fund/

For more information on the Hurunui Water Project, visit here: http://www.hurunuiwater.co.nz/