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Funding provided for Kurow Duntroon Irrigation Scheme

MEDIA RELEASE

4 May 2017

Crown Irrigation provides funding for Kurow Duntroon Irrigation Scheme

Crown Irrigation Investments Ltd. (Crown Irrigation) has agreed development grant funding of $388,000 for Kurow Duntroon Irrigation Company (KDIC), matching the company’s own financial contribution for this development phase. The funding is required to complete the remaining work to reach construction commencement and confirm the commercial viability of the proposed scheme.

The current community-based scheme was established in 1965 irrigating on the south bank of the Waitaki River below the dam, however it is now in need of major work.

KDIC is seeking to upgrade and expand the existing open canal scheme with a fully piped system capable of expanding irrigation capacity from its existing 1,986ha to potentially 6,000ha. The water supply comprises consented takes from the Waitaki dam and river together with additional supply from the existing McKenzie Irrigation Company.

KDIC is looking to raise the new capital from existing irrigators and near neighbours. The company already has 1,983 shares and is seeking to issue just over 3000 new shares on a one share per hectare basis.

Murray Gribben, Chief Executive of Crown Irrigation said: “The scheme has an existing resource consent from ECAN and paves the way for considerable economic, agricultural and environmental benefits for the region.”

“Technology has improved enormously since the current infrastructure was planned in the 1960s; today water can be supplied on demand and there is little to no waste. The infrastructure will also have a design-life of more than double the current scheme”, Mr Gribben said.

Geoff Keeling, Chair of the Kurow Duntroon Irrigation Company said: “The KDIC Board welcomes the financial support that this development grant brings; the importance of the scheme development extends beyond the local economy. The scheme will deliver wider environmental benefits with reduced irrigation take from tributaries.”

In line with Crown Irrigation’s mandate, the scheme is targeted at an optimal size to future-proof the project and KDIC has already had strong expressions of interest from irrigators. When completed, the scheme would have the capacity to improve the efficiency and reliability of irrigation in this area by providing water on demand, much greater efficiency of water distribution and an expansion of the command area through pumping, water optimisation and other new technologies.

“Irrigation schemes have added significant economic and environmental benefits to local regions and the New Zealand economy in other parts of the country and the KDIC scheme should deliver significant resilience to the local economy and efficiencies if the work in this important phase delivers the positive results expected.”

“Crown Irrigation is looking forward to working alongside KDIC to work through this development phase and help deliver the benefits the scheme will provide,” Mr Gribben said.

Crown Irrigation provides both development grant funding and construction capital to irrigation schemes across New Zealand. The development grant funding helps support (through matched funding) the development of irrigation infrastructure proposals to the stage where they are ready for construction, which means they must be commercially robust and demonstrate a high level of community support.

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