Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Irrigators launch pond and water craft for community use

Media Statement

25 February 2014 – for immediate release

Irrigators launch pond and water craft for community use

Imagine having key access to a private waterway in North Otago with a suite of yachts, kayaks and paddleboards stored on-site for year-round use. It’s not the lifestyles of the rich and famous, but an exciting initiative by a group of Oamaru irrigators aspiring to improve town-country relations.

The farmers, all shareholders of the Lower Waitaki Irrigation Company, will publicly launch their five hectare irrigation pond for community recreational use this Saturday (1 March). Members of the public are invited to attend from 10am to 4pm on Ferry Road, five kilometres from Oamaru.

For just $50 a year, North Otago residents can join a newly created trust, the Lower Waitaki Water Sports Trust, to gain year-round access to the private pond for sailing, boating and kayaking.

What makes this project so unique - is that as well as the private waterway - a range of watercraft and on-site facilities are available making water sports truly accessible to anyone in North Otago.

Trust Chairman Richard Willans says while the lake was built for irrigation storage, its proximity to Oamaru, main road location and un-impeded views make it a perfect beginner’s recreation lake. 

“It’s the safest place to get out and learn on. You can see the whole pond from any point as it’s so flat.”

Ironically, most of the irrigators involved have no boating experience and have taken advice from local sailors, boaties and kayakers to set up the pond.

The project has cost more than $150,000 with the trust sourcing funding from the irrigation company, local businesses, Meridian Waitaki Community Fund, Waitaki District Council and the Otago Community Trust. 

On-site for community use are 10 yachts, 15 kayaks and two paddleboards housed in an A4 bay shed.  Water safety measures including lifejackets and a fully inflatable motorized rescue boat are also available.  The jewel in the crown on the pond is a floating jetty.

The Lower Waitaki Irrigation Company has supported the project by charging the trust a peppercorn rental for the site. Chairman Chris Dennison says the company sees the project as worthy.

“Working with the community on this joint venture produced a great outcome and it’s happened very quickly. The pond was built in late 2012 and the trust’s facilities were only finished in December,” he says.

IrrigationNZ CEO Andrew Curtis says the initiative is significant as it demonstrates how irrigation infrastructure can benefit the community in other ways.

“We take our hats off to these irrigators as they’ve not only created a new recreational lake barely minutes from Oamaru, but have invested in recreational assets that the people of North Otago will enjoy for years to come. It shows once again how community-minded irrigators are and how irrigation infrastructure can meet social and recreational needs,” he says.   


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Police Authority: Use Of Taser Was Disproportionate And Unjustified

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that an officer’s second use of a Taser on a mentally unwell Hokitika man was disproportionate and unjustified. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Holidays, Hekia Parata And Badlands

Hekia Parata, adieu. Reportedly, she’s been ‘passionate’ about education. She has “bravely’ led the charge on the government’s education reforms. In the past week , many of the postscripts to Hekia Parata’s career as Education Minister have sounded like a schoolteacher desperately trying to find some reason why a D student can be marked up to C minus. More>>


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Prisons Grow: Government Approves Plans For Increased Prison Capacity

Despite significant progress in reducing crime the number of prisoners has increased faster than projected. This is because the proportion of offenders charged with serious crimes has risen, meaning more people are being remanded in custody and serving more of their sentences in prison. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news