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New share offer opens for irrigators to invest

Waimea Irrigators Limited (WIL) has updated its Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for the Offer of Water Shares.

The latest offer to buy water shares in WIL opened on 21 June and is publicly available for irrigators on the Waimea Plains to consider. The offer closes 30 September 2019.

WIL Chair Murray King says the drought in Tasman last summer gives even more reason for irrigators on the Waimea Plans to invest in the future of their business with a secure water supply.

“Everyone across the region felt the effect of the severe drought we faced last summer,” King says. “There’s no more compelling argument to invest in water shares than the increasing extreme weather patterns that we’re experiencing – the dryer dries and wetter wets.”

Total rainfall in Appleby in January and February this year was just 6.5mm compared with 161.3mm during an average January and February. A WIL commissioned report by Fruition Horticulture shows that there would have been eight days of rationing (at 20%) for those water users that had purchased shares in the Waimea Community Dam under the new Tasman Resource Management Plan (TRMP) ‘transition period’ rules. This compares with 57 days of rationing (at 20%, 50% and 70%) for water users that had not purchased shares. The report modelled Waimea River flow figures for the past summer against the new TRMP water rationing rules to see the effect for those on Affiliated versus Unaffiliated water permits.

“This report clearly shows that buying shares in WIL is the best way to guarantee a dependable supply of water to continue growing and farming the Waimea Plains,” King says. “The Waimea Community Dam means we can capture rainfall when there’s plenty of it and release it when it’s dry. It provides a secure water supply for irrigation, a secure water supply for current and future urban residents, and improves flows in the Waimea River.”

WIL is contributing $49.5 million to the construction of the Dam, in part through the sale of shares.

The purpose of this latest offer is to allow Century Water Limited to convert its 2,000 Convertible Notes in WIL into Water Shares and sell these to applicants to repay its investors who provided funding for the Dam.

Murray King explains: “Last year, a group of local, inter-generational family businesses on the Waimea Plains formed an investor vehicle, Century Water Limited, to commit $11 million in WIL, to help bridge the funding gap in the Dam. It was a significant commitment by family businesses that have been around for generations and wanted to see the Dam through to fruition for the benefit of their businesses and the economic prosperity of the region.”

Heidi Seifried-Houghton, of Seifried Estate, which is a shareholder in Century Water Limited, says the family wants to play its part in protecting the future of horticulture on the Waimea Plains.

“We see water as everything,” Seifried-Houghton says. “Weather patterns are increasingly extreme and are only going to become more so. Our investment in the Dam is about securing water for the future. Over the past four decades, we have expanded and invested in grape-growing land across the Tasman region and we need to ensure the viability of these blocks into the future through a reliable, secure water supply.”

WIL encourages those considering purchasing shares to review the PDS information with their legal and financial advisors.

Water Shares in WIL are being offered pursuant to a Product Disclosure Statement dated 14 June 2019. WIL is the issuer of these financial products, with both WIL and Century Water Limited being joint offerors. This document is available for download on www.waimeairrigators.co.nz. Further copies of the document can be obtained by writing to Waimea Irrigators Limited, PO Box 3171, Richmond 7050 or by email to natasha@waterforlife.nz.

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