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

 

Interest Rates: RBNZ Hikes OCR To 3.5%, ‘Period Of Assessment’ Now Needed

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler raised the official cash rate as expected, while signalling a pause in rate hikes to assess the impact of moves so far this year. The kiwi dollar sank after Wheeler said its strength was “unjustified” and that the currency could have “a significant fall.” More>>

ALSO:

Fonterra: Canpac Site 'Resize' To Focus More On Paediatrics

Fonterra is looking at realigning its packing operations at Canpac, in the Waikato, to focus more on paediatric nutritionals... The proposed changes could mean around 110 roles may not be required at the site which currently employs 330. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Postie Plus Brand Gets 2nd Chance With Well-Funded Pepkor

The Postie Plus brand is getting a new lease of life after South Africa’s Pepkor bought the failed retailer’s assets out of administration and said it will use its purchasing power to reduce costs of stock and fatten margins. More>>

ALSO:

Warming: Warming Signs From State Of Climate Report

Climate data from air, land, sea and ice in 2013 'reflect trends of a warming planet' -- says the latest State of the Climate report, launched by U.S. and New Zealand scientists. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Embrace Falling Home Affordability, Says NZIER

Despair over the inability to afford a house is misplaced and should be embraced as an opportunity to invest in more wealth-creating activity, says the principal economist at the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, Shamubeel Eaqub. More>>

Productivity Commission: NZ Regulation Not Keeping Pace

New Zealand regulators often have to work with out-of-date legislation, quality checks are under strain, and regulatory workers need better training and development. More>>

ALSO:

Callaghan Innovation: Investment To Help Deepen Innovation Reporting

Callaghan Innovation, the government’s high tech HQ for Kiwi business, is to help deepen New Zealand media coverage of the commercialisation of innovation through an arms-length partnership with independent business news service BusinessDesk. More>>

ALSO:

Tax Credits, Grants: Greens $1Bn R&D Plan

In the Party’s headline economic announcement, the Greens have launched their plan to build a smarter, more innovative economy which has as its centrepiece an additional $1 billion of government investment in research and development (R&D) above current spend, including tax breaks for business. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

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