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Irrigation schemes require professional input

Irrigation schemes require professional input

Increasingly complex water regulations mean directors and managers of irrigation schemes need to take their professional responsibilities even more seriously, says IrrigationNZ.

Irrigators need to adapt to new environmental requirements and those governing and managing irrigation schemes must have the necessary skills to manage the transition, says IrrigationNZ CEO Andrew Curtis.

To help the industry rise to the challenge, IrrigationNZ will hold a one-day ‘Governance Essentials’ workshop next month in Christchurch. The 12th June workshop will cover the separation between management and governance as well as governance principles and responsibilities. The workshop is aimed at both directors and managers of irrigation schemes, as well as irrigators wishing to learn more about governance fundamentals.

IrrigationNZ CEO Andrew Curtis says with increasing regulation, poor decision making by irrigation schemes can result in severe consequences.

“It’s no longer enough just to understand how your scheme operates and what you need to do on a day-to-day basis. New nutrient management and water quality standards means those operating and governing irrigation schemes need a vast amount of knowledge and expertise to meet required standards. If you fail to meet these standards, the penalties can be significant.”

“Highly-skilled and competent management and directors are the only way forward for the industry and we need to actively up-skill our membership through training. The ‘Governance Essentials’ workshop is a good starting platform,” he says.

Richard Watson, a director of Maerewhenua District Water Resource Co Ltd, says attending the 2013 ‘Governance Essentials’ workshop proved invaluable.

“It really brought home to me the importance of being informed. Ignorance is no excuse as a director when the going gets tough.”

The 12th June workshop at the Copthorne Hotel will cover governance from both a staff and board member’s perspective and will be presented by experienced facilitator Juliet McKee. An accredited fellow of the Institute of Directors, McKee is also an experienced director herself having sat on more than 20 boards across a wide range of sectors. Topics she will cover include the essentials of good board papers; well run meetings, the difference between governance and operational decisions as well as a review of legislation impacting on companies. The workshop will also feature a case study focusing on strategy and board/management relationships.

Mr Watson says presenter Juliet McKee does a brilliant job emphasising the responsibilities that came with the role.

“The real take home message was you can’t just accept what you are told. You have to be prepared to do the job properly and make sure you put the time in.”

“She really was a fantastic presenter and by drawing on so many of her own personal experiences kept our attention through-out the day,” he says.

For more information about the ‘Governance Essentials’ workshop, please phone IrrigationNZ on (03) 341 2225 or look at


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