Irrigation New Zealand

Media Statement– for immediate release

1 October 2020

IrrigationNZ says it is promising to see water recognised as a strategic and precious resource by the National Party today.

“Long-term, balanced and pragmatic water management is something our organisation has long called for,” says IrrigationNZ, chief executive Elizabeth Soal.

“The water infrastructure policy just released, signals robust plans around how we can better, and more strategically manage water for fair economic and environmental outcomes.”

“The document recognises water as a key strategic resource, but importantly - it also acknowledges that water must be managed with care with the right checks and balances in place, such as environmental standards for irrigation; national direction and a national policy statement to guide long-term planning and development, and a bank to properly manage prudent investment.”

“Water storage must lead to equitable outcomes - it is great to see this has been recognised in the document today, with water storage and irrigation acknowledged as an enabler for Māori economic and social development.

“The policy identifies what our sector has been championing for some time: that with the right environmental and economic frameworks access to reliable water leads to more efficient and low impact land and water management; supports community resilience; and assists in climate change preparedness,” Ms Soal says.

“And as we have said - and with more earnestness since March - is that water infrastructure will be critical for supporting both urban and rural economies, both in the short-term and long-term as we emerge post- COVID and build for the future".

Further Comment: Communications Manager Ella Stokes – 027 208 6371