Irrigation New Zealand

IrrigationNZ supports the Government’s decision to inject $12.7m into improving Northland’s water resilience.

“It’s promising to see the Government recognise the need for water infrastructure, as the demand for it is only going to increase in the future,”  Chief Executive of IrrigationNZ Elizabeth Soal says.

“Only yesterday weather experts declared a "severe meteorological" drought in northern Auckland, Great Barrier Island and the Far North as New Zealand experiences its fourth-warmest year on record.

“The dry summers New Zealand now repeatedly experiences are why supporting more resilient water infrastructure is crucial.”

“Water is critical for so many reasons, much more than just irrigation, New Zealanders cannot live without it and it is our most vulnerable regional communities that suffer the most due to increasingly common extreme weather events which put pressure on this essential resource,” Ms Soal says.

“New Zealanders need year-round reliable access to water for multiple outcomes - to satisfy basic community needs as well as cultural, environmental and economic requirements.”

“This means we need further investment guided by a proper nationwide water resilience strategy.”

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Minister of Regional Economic Development Shane Jones made the announcement this morning.

Ms Soal said the financial commitment to Northland was another step in the right direction after Wairarapa Water Ltd received $7 million Provincial Growth Funding (PGF) for their water storage project earlier in January.

“For New Zealand to be truly climate change resilient, we need to think about how we can manage water better for now and for the future, and projects like these support that.”

Minister Peters said up to $12.745m would be provided through the (PGF) of which up to $12m would go towards the Northland Water Storage and Use Project and a further $745,000 for Kai for Kaipara Project- Kaipara District Council.

Further comment:

Ella Stokes, IrrigationNZ Communications Manager- 027 521 6271