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Meridian welcomes Hunter Downs irrigation decision

Meridian welcomes Hunter Downs irrigation decision

Meridian Energy has welcomed the decision to approve resource consent for the Hunter Downs irrigation scheme in South Canterbury.

Chief Executive Tim Lusk says the decision is a huge step towards realising a long-held dream of bringing irrigation to a large part of the region and providing new opportunities for economic growth.

“Meridian is proud to have played a key role as one of the partners involved in bringing this important project a big step closer to reality.”

The Hunter Downs Irrigation Scheme is a community irrigation proposal developed by the South Canterbury Irrigation Trust (SCIT) and Meridian.

The scheme would potentially irrigate up to 40,000 hectares of land from the Waitaki River stretching as far north as Otipua. It would provide opportunities for land use diversification, including horticulture, sheep, beef and dairy farming.

The South Canterbury Irrigation Trust was convened by the Mayors of the Timaru, Waimate and Mackenzie District Councils to develop sustainable irrigation solutions for South Canterbury.

The scheme would involve diverting water from the Waitaki River into an irrigation intake near Stonewall at the existing site of the Morvan Glenavy Ikawai irrigation scheme intake, 35km downstream of the Waitaki Dam.

From there the water would be pumped about 140km for delivery to farms using a pumping station, canal and pipe system.

Mr Lusk says Meridian and its partners are now taking some time to work through the decision document to thoroughly understand it.

ENDS

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