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Hawke’s Bay leaders on irrigation fact-finding tour

Hawke’s Bay leaders on South Island irrigation fact-finding tour

Hawke’s Bay leaders are getting the chance to witness firsthand the impacts irrigation has had on communities in the South Island.

A group of Hawke’s Bay leaders, including the mayors and deputy mayors of Wairoa and Central Hawke’s Bay along with Hawke’s Bay Regional Councillors are spending three days (3-5 Feb) visiting irrigation schemes and communities in the South Island.

The trip is being led by HBRC Chairman Fenton Wilson and Economic Development Manager Tom Skerman to give the leaders an insight into what irrigation can do for communities in light of the proposed Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme.

The group will visit the Opuha Water Limited and Barrhill Chertsey irrigation schemes, as well as Canterbury farms where irrigation has made a real difference. They will also tour Timaru Port, industrial hubs and tourism initiatives. Attendees will hear from local rural bankers, business and local government leaders and farm consultants about what secure water can do for a region.

Fenton Wilson says the tour will answer questions such as how irrigated communities handle growth, increased pressures on the environment following intensification, utilising technology to mitigate issues and changing land use.

“This trip will help answer these questions. However I hope it also raises a lot of questions for those attending so they can make an informed decision after doing their own research as to the merits or otherwise of RWSS,” says Mr Wilson.


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