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Hawke’s Bay successful in Irrigation Acceleration Fund bid

25 January 2012

Hawke’s Bay successful in Irrigation Acceleration Fund bid

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is the first successful applicant to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry’s Irrigation Acceleration Fund.

The Irrigation Acceleration Fund provides for $35 million over five years to support the development of smart irrigation infrastructure proposals to the investment-ready prospectus stage.

“The Fund’s primary focus is on the development of rural water infrastructure proposals that are consistent with regionally agreed strategies for the sustainable use and management of water,” Kevin Steel, MAF Irrigation Acceleration Fund Manager says.

“MAF is announcing today that the IAF will contribute $1.67 million to the Ruataniwha Plains Water Storage Project Feasibility Study. This Study will support a decision about whether, or not, a water storage option for the Ruataniwha Plains is feasible and commercially viable.”

This contribution will be matched by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council.

When combined with the investment in the pre-feasibility stages already completed the Project’s total investment is $4.8 million.

To be eligible for IAF support, projects must demonstrate high standards of community consultation, strong commercial disciplines and a commitment to science and engineering investigations that meet good industry practice. Projects also need to demonstrate a commitment to requiring irrigators to achieve high standards of environmental performance and water use efficiency.

“This is exactly the type of project that the IAF was designed to support,” says Kevin. “The comprehensive technical work programmes involved meet the good industry practice standard required, while the well-established Project Leadership and Stakeholder Groups provide solid linkages into the wider Hawke’s Bay community.”

“The completed feasibility study will enable the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council to decide whether or not to proceed with development of a storage dam on the Makaroro River that would provide for up to 22,000 hectares of irrigation in Central Hawke’s Bay while also improving water quality and summer flows in the Tukituki River and its tributaries.”


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