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Majority of New Zealanders See Irrigation as Good

Majority of New Zealanders See Irrigation as Good

January 30, 2014

A new independent phone poll survey, commissioned by Irrigation New Zealand, reveals that New Zealanders – regardless of political leaning- see irrigation as good.

The poll also confirms that New Zealanders recognise the link between irrigation and their ability to access cheap and plentiful produce in their supermarkets.

The survey canvassed 1,000 respondents from Auckland, Canterbury, Wellington, Wairarapa and Hawkes Bay to better understand public perceptions of irrigation. Irrigation CEO, Andrew Curtis, says he didn’t expect such a positive response to irrigation from the New Zealand public and is encouraged by the results.

“Close to two-thirds overall agree that irrigation is good for New Zealand. This appears to be the case across the political spectrum which reinforces our belief in the need for a bi-partisan approach to irrigation,” he says.

“In an election year our plea is for politicians to come together to develop a strong vision to continue modernising irrigation infrastructure and practice which would drive sustainable development and achieve benefits for all.”

The poll also identified food production, water management and economic growth as major benefits of irrigation. Environmental impact was identified as a concern and there was a call from respondents for irrigation to be used responsibly – for irrigators to limit losses from nutrients as a result of irrigation; for water use to continue to be monitored and for water wastage to be limited.

Andrew Curtis says that irrigation is not just a rural issue and that New Zealanders need to use water efficiently. The focus now needs to turn to urban and rural water shortage development. Providing more information or irrigation to the public is also essential he says.

“The survey shows us New Zealanders recognise irrigation’s role in producing affordable and diverse food, but they want to know more about how irrigation works, who is responsible and how it impacts the environment,” he comments.

“We are working with agencies, organisations and individuals to minimise the impact of irrigation on our rivers and river flow and water quality limits are being set so that irrigators sustainably manage the water we all value.”

An executive summary of the phone poll survey is available from Irrigation New Zealand.

© Scoop Media

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