Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Government sets up fund to get water projects over the line

Government sets up fund to get water projects over the line

Jan. 23 (BusinessDesk) - The government is setting up a fund to play a “bridging role” for investments in regional water storage and irrigation projects to facilitate private investment.

A yet-to-be-named Crown-owned company will take minority stakes in water projects with a long-term goal of getting out and leaving the projects to the private sector.

While the government hopes to "get our money back", Prime Minister John Key suggested there was no expectation of dividends and that the scheme was intended to accelerate investment that might otherwise stall.

Some $80 million of funding is available for the first year but the government has signalled previously that $400 million will be available over a period of years for investments in irrigation.

“A number of groups are developing proposals for these larger, regional-level schemes, and the government expects to consider at least one proposal in the next 12 months,” outgoing Primary Industries Minister David Carter said.

Canterbury, Hawke’s Bay, Otago, and Nelson/Tasman are seen as regions likely to benefit initially.

The idea is that more water storage will capture rainfall, providing a source for irrigation which will increase economic growth in areas where too many small players have been unable to coordinate the capital to undertake a new irrigation scheme.

“The government believes that playing a bridging role will get the right projects under way,” documents accompanying Carter's announcement say.

IrrigationNZ chairman John Donkers described today’s move as "monumental" and Fonterra, New Zealand’s largest business, welcomed the move.

Donkers said IrrigationNZ had asked for government assistance, in line with overseas support for irrigation infrastructure.

An $80 million injection would get many regional water projects over the line and there would be wider community outcomes from the projects.

Irrigation would create new jobs, make farming, viticulture and horticulture more viable, and ensure more sustainable use of water.

He did not go into detail but irrigation has facilitated the conversion of farms to water-intensive dairying in many regions of New Zealand.

Fonterra said that water was fundamental to dairying, and investments in agriculture benefitted the whole economy.

“This announcement reinforces the need for the investment industry to be interested in irrigation,” Donkers said.

“The government is seeking to encourage private investment: first by assisting regional backers to do a good job of the investigation and planning phase to create good-quality proposals, and then by offering the possibility of co-funding if a proposal meets certain criteria,” the background documents say.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: RBNZ Keeps OCR At 3.5%, Signals Slower Pace Of Future Hikes

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 3.5 percent and signalled he won’t be as aggressive with future rate hikes as previously thought as inflation remains tamer than expected. The kiwi dollar fell to a seven-month low. More>>

ALSO:

Weather: Dry Spells Take Hold In South Island

Many areas in the South Island are tracking towards record dry spells as relatively warm, dry weather that began in mid-August continues... for some South Island places, the current period of fine weather is quite rare. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Productivity Commission To Look At Housing Land Supply

The Productivity Commission is to expand on its housing affordability report with an investigation into improving land supply and development capacity, particularly in areas with strong population growth. More>>

ALSO:

Forestry: Man Charged After 2013 Death

Levin Police have arrested and charged a man with manslaughter in relation to the death of Lincoln Kidd who was killed during a tree felling operation on 19 December 2013. More>>

ALSO:

Smells Like Justice: Dairy Company Fined Over Odour

Dairy company fined over odour Dairy supply company Open Country Dairy Limited has been convicted and fined more than $35,000 for discharging objectionable odour from its Waharoa factory at the time of last year’s ”spring flush” when milk supply was high. More>>

Scoop Business: Dairy Product Prices Decline To Lowest Since July 2012

Dairy product prices dropped to the lowest level since July 2012 in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, led by a slump in rennet casein and butter milk powder. More>>

ALSO:

SOE Results: TVNZ Lifts Annual Profit 25% On Flat Ad Revenue, Quits Igloo

Television New Zealand, the state-owned broadcaster, lifted annual profit 25 percent, ahead of forecast and despite a dip in advertising revenue, while quitting its stake in the pay-TV Igloo joint venture with Sky Network Television. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news