Irrigation New Zealand

Media Statement – for immediate release

27 February 2020

IrrigationNZ supports the Government’s decision to inject $10.6 million for a water storage facility in Raukokore, in the eastern Bay of Plenty through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF).

“This funding will be a significant enabler of land-use diversification and high-value production in the area” chief executive of Irrigation NZ Elizabeth Soal says. 

“Currently there are a lot of regions around the country that have been declared to be in drought. Under climate change these extreme weather events are only going to occur more often, however, water storage can make us more resilient during these times”

“Although this funding boost is excellent, there is a real need for our water-related funding and decision-making to be guided by a national strategy. Whether it be related to water quantity, water quality, allocation or infrastructure, such a strategy will create a more resilient and thriving New Zealand”  Ms Soal says.

“Water is critical for so many regions, much more than just irrigation, water storage has the potential to creates jobs, reliability, improve waterway health, creates better bio-diversity habitats and overall is a benefit to the economy and wellbeing of communities.”

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones made the announcement yesterday and said it was great news for the rural community.

The landowner Te Whānau a Maruhaeremuri Hapū Trust will use the investment, in the form of a loan, to design and build the water storage scheme for under-utilised, under-developed Māori land.

The scheme intends to help develop 200-300 hectares of horticultural land, with the capacity to grow to 900 hectares over time.

For further comment:

Ella Stokes IrrigationNZ Communications Manager : 027 521 6271