8 August 2013
North Canterbury will boom on back of water storage
IrrigationNZ says North Canterbury will be revitalised on the back of the Waitohi Irrigation and Hydro Scheme, which was
granted resource consent this week.
“Hurunui District, like many other rural areas, has experienced gradual population decline and subsequent school and
local service closures over the past 20 years. The announcement that Hurunui Water Project’s Waitohi Irrigation and
Hydro Scheme can now proceed has the potential to completely reverse North Canterbury’s fortunes,” says IrrigationNZ CEO
“The supply of reliable water will create certainty which will encourage greater investment in a range of land use
options. With North Canterbury’s unique climate allowing a wide range of crops to be grown, the district is well placed
to experience an economic boom,” says Mr Curtis.
Mr Curtis says environmental concerns around intensive farming and increased irrigation would be taken care of through
audited farm plans.
“Farmers and irrigators will have to perform to industry good management practice standards which will be monitored and
adapted to pre-empt issues.”
Mr Curtis says credit must be given to the Hurunui Water Project board and staff for driving the project through to
consent stage, a long and difficult process which took more than a decade.
“The collaborative process overseen by Environment Canterbury which endorsed the Waitohi as a water storage option has
proven it can provide a win-win for all. Water storage and irrigation go hand in hand with growing rural communities.
Residents in North Canterbury should be excited about the opportunities ahead for them.”
IrrigationNZ is the national body representing irrigators and the irrigation industry. Its mission is to promote
excellence in irrigation throughout New Zealand.