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IrrigationNZ applauds IAF investment

Media Statement

29 November 2012 – for immediate release

IrrigationNZ applauds IAF investment


IrrigationNZ has applauded the latest grant made by the Irrigation Acceleration Fund (IAF) – a project assessing the viability of expanding irrigation on the south side of the Lower Waitaki River.

“It’s fantastic to see the IAF actually deliver on what it was set up to do – which is support the potential for irrigated agriculture to contribute to New Zealand’s sustainable economic growth,” says IrrigationNZ CEO Andrew Curtis.

“Since the fund was set up farmers have held their breath to see what tangible benefits would result. The Waitaki announcement means five new irrigation projects this year have got the go-ahead with the potential to generate significant GDP.”

“It’s not easy for small, rural communities to raise the capital needed for irrigation infrastructure investigations and development. Irrigation benefits the entire community and IAF’s investment will ensure these developments are achievable and sustainable for the communities that drive them,” says Mr Curtis.

The IAF, which is administered by the Ministry for Primary Industries, is contributing $136,000 to the one-year Waitaki project, matched dollar for dollar by the community. The project is being facilitated and managed by the Waitaki Irrigators Collective Limited (WIC), a representative body which comprises five irrigation schemes and the Waitaki Independent Irrigators Incorporated Society (WIII).
Four other irrigation projects have also received IAF grants this year including the North Otago Irrigation Company Tilverstowe Extension, the Manuherikia Catchment Strategic Water Study, the Ruataniwha Plains Water Storage Project Feasibility Study and Tarras Water Ltd. Negotiations are underway for a further four projects. The IAF will invest $35 million over a five year period (2011/12 to 2015/16) in irrigation development.

ends

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