IrrigationNZ e-news update
SMART IRRIGATOR Edition No. 54, February 2019

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From our Chief Executive

ElizabethThis is my first week in a new job and although we are close to autumn, many parts of the country are still experiencing very dry summer conditions, highlighting the importance of irrigation and water storage for our communities.

This is a very exciting and challenging time for the sector – there are a lot of national and regional processes occurring that will affect our members.Through IrrigationNZ's renewed strategic focus on advocacy, we will be seeking to ensure that these effects are well understood by the key decision-makers and we are looking forward to working on these issues on your behalf.

We have some great events planned for 2019 and I am really looking forward to meeting as many of you as I can over the coming weeks and months.

Elizabeth Soal.

Tax update

On Thursday, the Tax Working Group released its report. The report included a recommendation that the government consider a tax on all water use (including hydro-electricity generation).

INZ issued a media release and our comments were covered by the NZ HeraldNewstalkZB and other news outlets. We also shared our views on Facebook - highlighting that this tax would affect every Kiwi. We encourage you to share these messages.

The government has said it will be talking with coalition partners and expects to issue its response to the report in April. We note that the government has previously ruled out a water tax during this election term although it is still an option further out.

We have a meeting with Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor in early March where we will raise our concerns about this tax again. 

Policy update

A number of documents have recently been released, including:

INZ will be reviewing these to identify how these impact on the irrigation sector and drafting submissions where appropriate. We will keep members updated on planned submissions. 

Hearings on the Ngaruroro Water Conservation Order are also now underway. 

Upcoming training

Irrigation Operator & Manager Training, Ashburton 12 March - covers Farm Environment Plan requirements, irrigation scheduling and operation and performance assessment

Service Industry Training, Hastings 9 April - for Service Managers, sales/design staff, Senior Service Technicians

Regional Council Verification Training, Palmerston North 10 April - for water metering and compliance staff

2 Day Industry Verification Workshop, Lincoln 8 & 9 May - training to obtain Blue Tick Accreditation

Join us at IF.2019 - Irrigation Futures 

IF.2019 – Irrigation Futures is a two-day event on 26-27 June in Christchurch bringing together key leaders from all sectors of the irrigation industry.

13 professional development and thought leadership workshops will share the latest research, technology and best practice with you so that you can take this knowledge back to your customer and deliver excellent, well informed advice to them. The latest international and local irrigation technology will be showcased at a trade show which is part of the event.

You can find out more and register to attend IF.2019 online.

Sign your school up to learn about irrigation

IrrigationNZ is working with Core Education to host a virtual field trip in March for primary school age children and their teachers to participate in.

The field trip will look at how water is used in NZ, and the role of irrigation in food production. With many regions being affected by dry conditions currently this a very topical subject, so we encourage you to share this with your local school and get them to sign up for this event!

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