Minister welcomes first investment by Crown Irrigation companyPrimary Industries
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has welcomed the first investment by Crown Irrigation Investment Ltd, with draft terms agreed for $6.5 million towards the Central Plains Water scheme in Canterbury announced today.
“Last year the Government put $80 million towards creating Crown Irrigation as an independent investor to help kick-start regional water infrastructure projects.
“It’s great to see the first investment decision made. Central Plains Water will help irrigate around 60,000 hectares of land on the Canterbury plains once all three stages are complete, giving a real boost to the region’s economy.
“Without this funding, it’s unlikely the scheme would be developed to the size and scale required.
“This is an important step towards unlocking the major opportunities that water storage and irrigation can provide for New Zealand.
“If current proposals are advanced there could be another 420,000 hectares of irrigated land available for a variety of uses over time. Research from NZIER suggests that exports could be boosted by $4 billion a year by 2026, which would support thousands of new jobs.
“After the extreme drought that most of the country suffered last year, and the dry conditions currently in Northland and Waikato, the need for better water storage is obvious,” says Mr Guy.
All decisions by Crown Irrigation are made by an experienced, independent board. Strict conditions have to be met including technical feasibility, consents in place and sound governance.