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Innovative irrigation nominations sought

Media Statement

6 December 2013 – for immediate release

Innovative irrigation nominations sought

The hunt is underway for examples of innovation within New Zealand’s irrigation sector as industry body IrrigationNZ gears up for its bi-ennial conference in Hawkes Bay.

Entries have just opened for IrrigationNZ’s ‘Innovation in Irrigation Award’ in association with Aqualinc, which will be presented at the conference and expo next April, being held in Napier for the first time.
The prestigious award, which comes with a $2500 prize, celebrates, encourages and promotes innovation within New Zealand’s irrigation industry.

Nominations close 31 January with entries required by 14 February 2014. Nomination forms are now available on the IrrigationNZ websitewww.irrigationnz.co.nz/events-and-training/innovation-in-irrigation-award/

IrrigationNZ CEO Andrew Curtis says the category is extremely broad and encompasses technical innovations by industry, initiatives which protect the environment and innovative thinking where irrigation has helped create resilient communities.

“Innovation is commonplace within our sector as irrigators are constantly responding to regulatory and community feedback to improve performance. Unfortunately too often the focus is on the negative, and many significant advances made by our industry have been overlooked.”  

“The reality is most irrigators strive to be efficient water users and are considerate of their environment. There are lots of exciting things happening within our industry and the award gives us an opportunity to recognize the positive impact irrigation plays in many communities.”

Past winners of the award include the North Otago Irrigation Company in 2012 which used its prize to re-establish the North Otago Sustainable Land Management Group (NOSLAM) to promote responsible farming in its area. The company worked alongside the Otago Regional Council, local Runanga and NOSLAM to develop its ground-breaking Environmental Farm Plans. These plans guide farmers in good management practice including irrigation, riparian, soil, fertiliser and effluent use.

In 2010, Fielding-based Precision Irrigation won for its variable rate irrigation systems, which uses GPS to more effectively target water application. The company has since been purchased by multinational Lindsay Corporation and has sold over 160 variable rate irrigation systems throughout Australasia.

IrrigationNZ is also calling for nominations for the Ron Cocks Memorial Award with nomination forms also available on the IrrigationNZ website www.irrigationnz.co.nz

The award recognizes a person who has made a significant contribution to irrigation within New Zealand. Named after J.R (Ron) Cocks, a Mid Canterbury farmer who was an early leader in water issues, the award is given every two years to a New Zealander who has demonstrated leadership, voluntary dedication and achievement within the irrigation sector. The 2012 recipient was Brian Cameron from Ashburton. Nominations close 11 February 2014.

ENDS

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