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Central Plains Irrigation scheme all go

26 July 2012

Central Plains Irrigation scheme all go

Final consents for the Central Plains Water (CPW) scheme have received the green light from the Environment Court, and CPW will now move ahead with the first stage of the scheme between the Rakaia and Waimakariri Rivers.

The Court’s approval of the consents has been welcomed by CPW Chairman, Pat Morrison, who called it “a fantastic decision for Canterbury.”

“We’re extremely pleased and excited about being able to advance with this important project. The Court’s decision was the last of the roadblocks before us and we can now begin to make real progress.

“It has been a long process over 10 years, and a lot of work by many people, but this outcome is going to be of real significance to Canterbury as a whole.”

He expected the full scheme would add about 1100 jobs to the region and boost Canterbury’s economy by more than $1 billion annually.

The irrigation network will ultimately service 60,000 hectares of farmland between the Waimakariri and Rakaia Rivers.

The sale and purchase negotiations for the main canal route would now happen alongside the design phase, said Mr Morrison.

CPW would need to raise funds from its shareholders, investors and lenders to build the project.

Trust Power’s Lake Coleridge water storage scheme would be part of the overall irrigation project, storing water in the winter to irrigate in the summer.

Selwyn District Council has earmarked in its annual plan a loan of $5m which would help pay design costs for the $105m first stage.

CPW has applied for a further $5.6m from the Ministry of Primary Industries’ Irrigation Acceleration Fund. About $1m of CPW shareholders’ money would also contribute to the planning fund.

ENDS

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