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Canterbury rebuild boosted by water investment

Canterbury rebuild boosted by Central Plains Water investment

Canterbury’s rebuild will be fast-tracked with today’s announcement by Crown Irrigation Investments (Ltd (Crown Irrigation) that its first investment will go to the region’s largest prospective irrigation scheme Central Plains Water Ltd (CPW), says IrrigationNZ.

Crown Irrigation will make a $6.5million investment in CPW for a period of five years providing the scheme’s backers with much needed financial certainty, says IrrigationNZ CEO Andrew Curtis.

“Cantabrians will see a faster rebuild now because agriculture - more than any other New Zealand industry – has the potential to pay for the infrastructure Christchurch and the wider region still desperately needs. At the same time, the CPW irrigation scheme has the potential to create hundreds of new down-stream jobs and businesses. On the back of this announcement the prospects for the region look much brighter,” says IrrigationNZ CEO Andrew Curtis.

Mr Curtis was commenting from Napier where IrrigationNZ had just held its biennial conference and expo with more than 350 industry representatives, farmers and irrigation scheme managers meeting to discuss the future of irrigation in New Zealand.

“We’re excited and heartened by this news as CPW, like many other prospective irrigation schemes, has been in development for some years and its farmer-backers and the Selwyn community will be relieved to finally see the scheme proceed,” says Mr Curtis.

Claims that CPW would be environmentally detrimental were not based in science, says Mr Curtis.

“Central Plains Water will restore stream flows which will improve the health of aquatic eco-systems and also relieve pressure on underground aquifers by irrigating from surface water in stage 1 rather than deep groundwater. Irrigators will also have to sign up for farm management plans which will carefully monitor environmental effects. The scheme’s approach aligns with the Canterbury Water Management Strategy’s goal of moving towards more sustainable and reliable irrigation water and is underpinned by variation 1 to the regional land and water plan so it also reflects how the community wants water to be managed,” says Mr Curtis.

Ends

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