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INZ - leading sustainable growth

(About Irrigation NZ)

INZ - leading sustainable growth from innovative water use

Irrigation New Zealand is a unified national body promoting excellence in irrigation development and efficient water management based on the principles of responsible and sustainable management of water resources.

Irrigation NZ (INZ) is committed to all of New Zealand but given Canterbury is currently tackling such issues as full allocation, with predictions that many other regions in New Zealand will be following suit within five years, Canterbury is very much the leader to be followed.

Issues of non adversarial science, adaptive management, extensive mandatory metering and community management are all current hot topics in Canterbury and INZ has its finger on the pulse of them all.

INZ believes that by achieving balance and common sense into the developments of Canterbury it is contributing to a more sensible approach that will influence the inevitable developments in other regions.

New Zealand derives immense economic, social and environmental benefit from irrigated agriculture. Farmers who irrigate to improve reliability, quantity and quality of production receive the most obvious benefit.
Contractors, suppliers, processors, manufacturers, recreation and wider communities are among many others that also benefit from the increased economies achieved by irrigated agriculture.

While farmer-irrigators form the majority of INZ members, all involved in, or benefiting from the irrigation industry are eligible for membership with a varying fee structure related to the size and nature of the organisation or business.

Through most of its history New Zealanders have largely taken water for granted. Until the last two decades many farmers tended to regard irrigation as no more than mitigation against drought. Community water management schemes providing irrigation were generally instigated by central government and largely treated as engineering projects with little recognition or understanding of the on-farm requirements associated with irrigation.

Changes to government policy in the late 1980s saw the removal of irrigation and land development incentives and significant alteration of the government agencies mainly responsible for irrigation projects. As a consequence of these changes the rate of irrigation development decreased.

The New Zealand Irrigation Association Incorporated was initially formed in 1978 but went into voluntary recess in 1993 as a consequence of the removal of government support for irrigation development.

More recently an ongoing and profound attitudinal change has occurred with regards to irrigation, its contribution to the New Zealand economy and its positive impact on rural communities.

Since the late 1990s as New Zealand agriculture became increasingly self-reliant and entrepreneurial, more and more farmers and rural communities became aware of the potential value that irrigation can add to both individual businesses and to the wider economy.

By the late 1990s the irrigation industry identified that a unified national body would benefit many if it could be brought together to represent irrigation interests. They saw the need to coordinate and share resources in order to capitalise on opportunities to develop and grow the irrigation industry.
The New Zealand Irrigation Association was re-launched in September 2001 and re-named as Irrigation New Zealand (INZ) in October 2004.

You can learn more about INZ at


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