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


Turning Northland’s water problems into economic solutions

April 10, 2019


Smart-thinking water schemes will turn Northland’s water problems into economic solutions

Northland Inc’s acting CEO says that Northland’s economy is thirsty for water storage and use solutions as the districts suffer from Jekyll and Hyde weather patterns that leave our horticultural industry and the wider economy under pressure.

Vaughan Cooper welcomed Friday’s Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) announcement of $18.5 million as a major boost for Northland to help unlock potential for the Mid-North and Kaipara.

Northland Regional Council will receive the funding, and will work with other councils in the region, iwi and the community to undertake necessary work to support the project’s construction.

Northland Inc proposed the initial, region-wide study which kick-started the project.
A number of previous studies into water storage and use, and this recently announced initiative, are part of the Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Action Plan, which is being facilitated and supported by Northland Inc.

The previous studies identified that water storage and use option projects in the mid-North and Kaipara could potentially create hundreds of jobs and boost the region’s economy by tens of millions annually.

These studies were co-funded through Northland Regional Council’s Investment and Growth Reserve, which is administered by Northland Inc.

“This is a region where we get pretty high rainfall in one season and drought in another. How do we work it so that rainfall becomes an asset, and how do we future-proof our region in light of climate change challenges?

“We need to focus on new water storage and use schemes to ease the impact of drought and also deliver economic and environmental benefits.”

There is a need to investigate the environmental and ecological impacts of any new water storage facility and land use, with changes in greenhouse gases, nutrients and sediment all forming part of that further investigative work.

It is envisioned that any future plans would focus on horticultural use, rather than enabling the conversion of land to dairy.
“Growers could never afford to build these schemes on their own and these are the kinds of projects that we, as Northland leaders in economic development, local and central government, need to be championing to support our industries,” said Mr Cooper.

Announcing the funding at Rangi Pt in the Hokianga on April 5, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones said a more reliable water supply, with Kaipara and Far North-based water storage and use options, could boost the horticulture industry by $150 million, bolstering employment with the creation of up to 1150 jobs.

“Developing water storage is a complex and time-consuming exercise, requiring high calibre technical regulatory, environmental and commercial capability,” Minister Jones said.

“I’m pleased this project will be developed in a way that meets these standards. The Mid North has massive potential and after years of neglect we’re unlocking this through the PGF,” he said.

Construction, if feasible, would be years away but analysis of water supply and storage options, as well as assessment of potential water user demand, environmental impacts and financial modelling could progress sooner.

Some PGF funding would be used for this analysis and the remainder made available as a loan for construction, should viable water storage and distribution networks be identified.

*** ENDS ***

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


"Clumsy Response To A Serious Issue": Treasury Head Was "Unreasonable" On Budget Breach

Outgoing Treasury secretary Gabriel Makhlouf was "clumsy", unreasonable and fell "well short" of expectations in his handling of the Budget data breach, a government report has found.

The State Services Commission report was ordered in the fallout of Mr Makhlouf claiming Treasury's website had been "deliberately and systematically hacked" and referring the matter to police...

The Commission's report - released today - said Mr Makhlouf did not act reasonably in his use of the word "hacked" or his subsequent explanations to media. More>>


Gordon Campbell: Public Service Reforms Don't Protect The Public

Reportedly, the legislation involved is to be called the Public Service Act, because… well, it seems that the notion of “public service” is back in vogue. More>>


Environment Accounts: NZ's Household Emissions Increasing

Household emissions of greenhouse gases increased 19.3 percent from 2007 to 2017, mainly due to rising emissions from road transport, Stats NZ said today. More>>


Police: Excessive Force Used Breaking Up Party

The Authority found that one of the officers involved had used knee strikes during the arrest... this officer made concerning comments... to the effect that "it's about time some of these kids got what they deserved." More>>


Legislation: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes Second Reading

Just 20 MPs had the opportunity to debate the bill and many shared personal stories of watching family members die in what was at times an emotional display in the House. More>>


Other Bills:

Principals Reject Offer: Primary Teachers Vote For Settlement

Primary teachers have voted to ratify a proposed settlement that will give them pay parity with their secondary colleagues, but disappointed primary principals have rejected a settlement that was unchanged from a previously rejected offer. More>>


Pike River: Weeks Of Work Before Team Gets Beyond 170 Metres

No items of interest have been found in the latest forensic search of the tunnel between 30 and 170 metres, however, both the police and the Pike River Recovery Agency say it has been useful. More>>


Remaking Elections: Call For Four-Year Term, More MPs

A Victoria University report is proposing extending the parliamentary term to four years, and increasing the number of MPs, so politicians can plan better for the future. More>>


Health: Ban On Smoking In Cars With Children Passes First Reading

The Smoke-free Environments Amendment Bill would allow police to issue $50 fines for those smoking with passengers under 18 years of age. More>>





InfoPages News Channels