Boost to Hurunui Water Project funding

Kaikoura news
Friday, April 1, 2016

Kaikoura MP Stuart Smith says new funding of $520,000 for the Hurunui Water Project will help strengthen and stabilise the local water supply around Hawarden.

The funding, from the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Irrigation Acceleration Fund (IAF), will go toward the project’s Initial Steps Programme, assisting it to deliver on its Stage 1 phase, which will see between 10,000 and 15,000 hectares irrigated.

“North Canterbury has been dry and drought-ridden for the last 18 months. A limited water supply has severely limited production and stability for local farmers,” Mr Smith said.

“The Hurunui Water Project has enormous potential. Once complete, the scheme will have capacity to irrigate 35,000 hectares.

“70 per cent of this newly irrigated land will be used for sheep and beef grazing, with the remainder being available for other arable and dairy usage options,” Mr Smith says.

The Ministry of Primary Industries’ Irrigation Acceleration Fund supports irrigation infrastructure proposals with matched funding to the stage where they are investment-ready.

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

“The Government has remained a strong supporter of irrigation and water storage. A strengthened, stable local water supply will be an ongoing asset for Kaikoura,” Mr Smith says.