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Support For Proposed North Canterbury Irrigation

Monday 29 April

Media Release: Support For Proposed North Canterbury Irrigation

Federated Farmers Support For Proposed North Canterbury Irrigation And Power Generation Proposal

Key support has been secured for the multi million-dollar Irrigation and Power generation scheme proposed for North Canterbury.

North Canterbury Federated Farmers has voted overwhelmingly to support the Hurunui Irrigation and Power Trust in its bid to improve irrigation and general economic prosperity in the Hurunui and Waipara regions through the construction of storage lakes and a Hydro Electric Dam on the Hurunui River. The motion passed at the NCFF meeting last Wednesday stated:

“North Canterbury Federated Farmers supports the work of the Hurunui Irrigation and Power Trust to develop irrigation and power generation in the Hurunui region.”

Trust Chairman, Max Smith, says gaining the support of as many as possible in the region is vital, and the Federated Farmers endorsement is an important step forward at this stage of the proposal.

“It’s early days but as we continue to talk to as many groups and individuals as possible, we are finding there’s a huge amount of support, across the whole community, which bodes well for the future of the region.”

Hurunui Irrigation and Power estimates that up to 4,000 new jobs would be created by the scheme, (not including the construction work force of approximately 2000), and there would be a boost in the region’s economy by an estimated $130-$300 million per year. Other advantages include the establishment of an alternative electricity supply for the region, more efficient use of water than current irrigation schemes, beneficial outcomes for lowland streams, and enhanced tourism opportunities.

“The storage lakes which form a crucial part of the HIP proposal, are not only important from an irrigation point of view but also hold great potential as far as tourism and recreation are concerned. Just look at the Ashburton man-made lake which officially opened at the weekend; there are fantastic opportunities in recreation and tourism there, and the storage lakes in our proposal hold the same potential.”

Max Smith says there are still many people to talk with and more work to do before the next stage of applying for resource consent gets underway.

“It’s one step at time but those steps are made easier with the support of individuals and groups like Federated Farmers,” he says.

ends

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