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Government’s New Strategy For Primary Sector Highlights Water Storage

Irrigation New Zealand is greatly encouraged by the fact that the Government has today recognised the “transformational opportunity” water storage provides for New Zealand as part of our post-Covid economic recovery.

Water storage was acknowledged as a key enabler for boosting productivity in the Government’s Primary Sector plan Fit for a Better World launched today by the Prime Minister.

“The strategy identifies what our sector has been championing for some time: that access to water provides for land-use flexibility which can also contribute to lower emissions; supports community resilience; and assists in climate change preparedness,” said IrrigationNZ Chief Executive, Elizabeth Soal.

“The Fit for a Better World strategy also identifies potential growth in horticulture - which is largely reliant on accessible water - and Māori agribusiness. These are both areas will benefit significantly from further access to reliable, stored water,” said Ms Soal

“However, it is unclear what funding will look like to enable this part of the Government’s new strategy, or what mechanisms and departments will be responsible for leading the ‘focused development’ of water storage” said Ms Soal.

“We look forward to working with the government, both nationally and regionally, as it develops policies and programmes to attain the targets set out,” said Ms Soal.

“Irrigation New Zealand remains of the view that water must be looked at holistically and strategically, and while significant work has gone into three waters (drinking water, stormwater, and wastewater) and water quality, a clear and guided programme of work for water storage infrastructure is still needed,” said Ms Soal.

“As we have said over the last few months, water infrastructure will be critical for supporting both urban and rural economies, both in the short-term and long-term as we emerge post-Covid and build for the future,” said Ms Soal.

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