Irrigation New Zealand



IrrigationNZ has lodged its submission on the Natural & Built Environment Bill (NBEB) to the Environment Select Committee. The NBEB was introduced to Parliament in November last year and the Committee will report back to the House in May this year.

“As we look to adapt to a changing climate and build resilience in future farming, we need a resource management system that supports investment in, and development of, infrastructure that can handle extreme weather events and fluctuations, such as the terrible floods we have seen recently,” says Vanessa Winning, Chief Executive of IrrigationNZ.

“Unfortunately the current version of the NBEB does not meet these objectives at the very time it is crucial to remove roadblocks and support private and public investment in infrastructure to withstand the next 100 years.

“IrrigationNZ, along with irrigation schemes representing the vast majority of irrigated land, orchards, vineyards and public green spaces, wants to see enabling resource management law that upholds the long term integrity of the environment while future proofing the wellbeing of our communities and ensuring food security.

“If New Zealand wants to grow its food production, as this Government has announced it will do, we need resilient infrastructure that allows for water capture, storage and improved water efficiency. The reality is that most of the fruit, vegetables, and wine, and many other food products in New Zealand rely on irrigation.

“So in the face of growth targets, and an increasingly unpredictable environment, we need both certainty for farmers and growers and resilient infrastructure to support food production.

“We are concerned that the NBEB does not provide this.

“Along with thousands of other submitters we want to see significant improvements made to the NBEB: fairness around time frames for developing this fundamental legislation, and support for strategic long term infrastructure development that provides for lives and livelihoods in a healthy environment,” concludes Ms Winning.

IrrigationNZ's submission addresses the below areas of concern in the Bill which are of particular significance to the irrigation industry. Where possible IrrigationNZ has suggested solutions or alternative options in its submission. The main areas are:

- Recognition of irrigation infrastructure as essential

 for resilience to climate change

- Water consent duration, reviews and cancellations

- Provisions relating specifically to farming

IrrigationNZ’s submission can be found here:


Contact: Vanessa Winning, Chief Executive, IrrigationNZ, 027 274 1291

About IrrigationNZ:

Irrigation New Zealand (IrrigationNZ) represents over 3,800 members nationally, including irrigation schemes, individual irrigators, and the irrigation service sector across all regions of New Zealand.

Our irrigator members include a wide range of farmers and growers – sheep and beef, dairy and cropping farmers, horticulturalists, winegrowers, as well as sports and recreational facilities and councils. We also represent over 120 irrigation service industry members – manufacturers, distributors, irrigation design and install companies, and irrigation decision support services for both freshwater and effluent irrigation.

We are a voluntary-membership, not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to create an environment for the responsible use of water for food and fibre production for local and international consumers and to sustain the wellbeing of communities.

As an organisation we actively take a technical leadership role in promoting best practice irrigation and carry out a range of training and education activities associated with freshwater management. Over the last five years, we have trained over 3,000 irrigators on various aspects of irrigation best practices to improve water use efficiency (lowering consumption) and better manage environmental effects (improved soil moisture and surface water management).

IrrigationNZ members share many of the same goals as other New Zealanders:

- Reduce their environmental footprints and see

 improvements in the health of the natural environment,

- Contribute to the wellbeing of their communities,


- Provide for a resilient future for New Zealand

 in the face of climate change.