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Irrigation New Zealand approves of Commissioner extension

Irrigation New Zealand approves of Commissioner extension

Irrigation New Zealand has come out in support of the retention of the Environment Canterbury Commissioners - but asks whether this means water management plan deadlines can be re-negotiated.

INZ chairman John Donkers says the decision of Local Government Minister, David Carter, to extend the Commissioner’s team for another three years until 2016 “makes perfect sense”.

“The Commissioners have done a great job of starting to find solutions to Canterbury’s incredibly complex water management issues – putting the focus on community decision making. But we need to ask, with the Minister’s announcement, can we now take a second look at the extremely challenging deadlines that have been set? The timeframes are generating so much pressure across the region and Canterbury needs well informed outcomes.”

“With the extended timeframe we now have an opportunity to review these processes. Extending the Commissioner’s term means we can now take stock and ensure our timelines are achievable to get the outcomes Canterbury needs.”

Mr Donkers says the rural community believed the Commissioners had delivered positive results.

“Rural communities now have more opportunities to be involved in water management through the collaborative approach of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy. We are starting to see real gains through the zone committee and we don’t want to go back to the nightmare situation that ratepayers suffered under previously.”

Irrigation NZ

Irrigation NZ is the national body representing irrigators and the irrigation industry. Its mission is to promote excellence in irrigation throughout New Zealand.

ENDS

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