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Crown irrigation investment company needs to act

Media Statement

2 July 2013 – for immediate release

Crown irrigation investment company needs to act

IrrigationNZ has congratulated the Government on the establishment of the new Crown company ‘Irrigation Investments Ltd’ – but signals action is needed quickly before opportunities are lost.

The $80million investment company was announced this week as a “bridging investor” to help irrigation projects that may not otherwise get off the ground.

“Financial support for irrigation infrastructure is long over-due. Many communities have been trying for several years to raise sufficient investment capital so our plea is for Irrigation Investments Ltd to move quickly to turn proposals into reality,” says IrrigationNZ CEO Andrew Curtis.

“Investing in irrigation infrastructure produces huge social and economic benefits and the drought has only emphasised how irrigation is the lifeblood of many communities,” says IrrigationNZ Chairman John Donkers.

Mr Curtis says two irrigation projects ready for investment scrutiny are Tarras Water in Otago and Central Plains Water in Canterbury.

“Tarras Water is a great candidate for first cab off the rank as they have a truly sustainable irrigation development and they are investment ready,” says Mr Curtis.

Central Plains Water had recently been endorsed by the Selwyn-Waihora Zone Committee as the answer to the district’s water quality woes, in particular the ongoing health of the area’s largest lake Te Waihora/Ellesmere.

“Without the introduction of alpine water that Central Plains Water can deliver, there is no other viable way to start Te Waihora/Ellesmere on a pathway to gradual improvement,” he says.

A number of other smaller schemes throughout New Zealand will also be ready for investment in2014 and Mr Curtis says IrrigationNZ is looking forward to seeing actual Government investment in the very near future.

ENDS


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