Irrigation New Zealand

Media Statement– for immediate release

12 June 2020

IrrigationNZ is pleased to see much needed water storage is a priority for Northland, however, wants the same prioritisation in other dry regions, such as Hawke's Bay.

“It is very encouraging to see the Government recognise the importance of water storage,” says IrrigationNZ chief executive Elizabeth Soal. “And I hope we see further investment in this area through the ‘shovel-ready’, infrastructure upgrade, and PGF allocations.”

“Having reliable access to water enhances communities’ resilience, climate change responsiveness, social outcomes, and unlocks the potential for land use flexibility contributing to our #zerocarbon targets.”

Ms Soal said accelerating the Northland water storage project would create jobs and stability following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and is a great stimulus for economic development.

“This could be replicated in other areas throughout New Zealand, and with the right environmental and planning frameworks in place, will lead to shared benefits for Iwi, the environment, the community, and the farmer.”

“While this announcement on water storage by the Government is positive, IrrigationNZ would welcome a water strategy to guide this critical infrastructure investment into the future.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced yesterday that the Northland water storage site had been decided and a further $37.5 million invested.

The additional $37.5m from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will be used to accelerate and expand the delivery of the Northland water storage programme as part of the Government’s COVID-19 response.

Further Comment: Communications Manager Ella Stokes – 027 521 6271