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IrrigationNZ welcomes new irrigation funding

Media Statement

18 May 2017– for immediate release

IrrigationNZ welcomes new irrigation funding

Today’s announcement of an additional $90 million funding for irrigation is great news for New Zealand communities, says IrrigationNZ CEO, Andrew Curtis.

“Sustainable irrigated agriculture is New Zealand’s future. It underpins many of the provincial economies on the east coast of New Zealand. Regional towns like Hastings, Blenheim, Ashburton, Timaru, Cromwell and Alexandra would be far less vibrant and less resilient without irrigation infrastructure” said Curtis.

As well as directly generating over $2.4 billion to New Zealand’s economy, the benefits from irrigation multiply for surrounding areas– for every $1 an irrigator earns, another $2 to $3 of wealth is created in their community. It is estimated that irrigation contributes over $5.4 billion to the New Zealand economy every year.

The Government’s announcement of new funding for scheme grants and investment capital for development will increase the value derived from irrigated agriculture, support land-use diversification and contribute to increased efficiency gains and environmental outcomes.

“IrrigationNZ works closely with farmers, growers, industry and regulators to ensure all irrigation is economically, socially, culturally and environmentally sustainable – it’s about building resilience for all. On-going access to development capital, to assist irrigation modernisation and development projects, is essential to achieve this outcome” said Curtis. “Water storage and distribution infrastructure is key for New Zealand’s rural sector to ride out climatic stresses, like drought and climate change, and is instrumental in providing win-win solutions for freshwater quality. Reliable irrigation also enables diversity of land use as a wider range of stock, crops, vegetables and fruit can be grown and farmed with reliable water.”

Ends


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