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IrrigationNZ congratulates Waihao Downs Irrigation

Media Statement

1 April 2016 – for immediate release

IrrigationNZ congratulates Waihao Downs Irrigation

The opening of Waihao Downs Irrigation Scheme reinforces that irrigation will continue to be a vital ingredient for the health of rural New Zealand, regardless of the fortunes of the dairy industry, says IrrigationNZ.

The $32million Waihao Downs project will be officially opened next Tuesdayby IrrigationNZ Chairwoman Nicky Hyslop, coinciding with the first day of the industry body’s bi-ennial conference.

More than 400 people will converge on Waitaki District next week to view irrigation infrastructure, hear guest speakers from around the world speak on irrigation issues and attend technical workshops. The conference opens with a Farmer’s Trade Afternoon on Tuesday (3.30pm-5.30pm) where 52 exhibitors will showcase irrigation technology, services and products to farmers and the general public.

Work only commenced on the South Canterbury irrigation network in January 2015 with the build complete and water ready to go late last month. Morven Glenavy Ikawai Irrigation Company merged with Waihao Downs Irrigation Scheme in July 2014.

IrrigationNZ CEO Andrew Curtis says the build of the Waihao Downs Irrigation Scheme had been a great team effort by farmers and shareholders from both companies and illustrated the positivity that remains in the rural sector, regardless of the dairy downturn.

“IrrigationNZ has always maintained that irrigation supports much more than dairy. Reliable water is used by sheep and beef farmers to generate consistent feed for stock; it supports cropping and arable enterprises, horticulture and viticulture. Waihao Downs shareholders and management must be commended for their tenacity in pushing this project through in challenging times,” says Mr Curtis.

“We also want to congratulate Waihao Downs on achieving their vision on budget and before expected completion date. They are a great example of what can be achieved when a community gets together and supports an irrigation project,” says Mr Curtis.


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