Water

Freshwater scientist slams Hawke’s Bay Regional Council over water quality

[15 October/The Country] Senior Researcher at Victoria University’s Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, Mike Joy, slammed Hawke’s Bay Regional Council about water quality in the region. The council said it was working to improve water quality. Mr Joy shared pictures of the stream, showing its issues with algae blooms. He added it was disgusting...

Irrigation NZ: Water tax ‘not workable’

[11 October/The Country] According to IrrigationNZ, the introduction of a nationwide water tax was not workable. Allowing irrigators to continue to invest In more irrigation systems rather than taxing them would result in the biggest improvements to efficiency. IrrigationNZ Chief Executive, Andrew Curtis, said a water tax had been considered in other countries, but abandoned...

Foreign buyers put off farms

[28 September/Farmers Weekly] Fewer international people were buying New Zealand farms, which was blamed in part on the 15 percent in the dairy farm price index last year. Westpac Senior Economist, Anne Boniface, said the tightening of rules last year was most noticeably felt in the dairy sector. The tightening of rules for foreign investors...

Call for submissions on local bill related to proposed Waimea dam

[23 September/Stuff] Submissions are being sought on a bill designed to enable to construction of the Waimea Dam. The Tasman District Council Bill passed its first reading. Nelson MP, Nick Smith, said the bill was the last critical piece of work required to enable to construction of the dam. He added the project had full...

Tasman District Council U-turn on Waimea dam draws mixed reaction

[7 September/Stuff] The Tasman District Council’s decision to reverse its previous vote that effectively ended the Waimea dam project has received a mixed reaction. Nelson MP, Nick Smith, welcomed the vote to proceed with the project after a new funding model was presented. He said it was the right decision for the region’s future. He...

Council pulls out of dam project

[29 August/Farmers Weekly] The Tasman District Council decided to pull out of the Waimea Dam project, with its backers being taken by surprise. The council decided the increased costs were unaffordable for ratepayers. Tasman Mayor, Richard Kempthorne, said it meant the project would not proceed as public consultation could not occur before the deadline of...

Tasman District Council votes against Waimea Dam

[28 August/The Country] The Tasman District Council voted against the controversial Waimea Dam. It announced the final construction costs had increased, leaving it $18 million short. Other costs would have pushed the total to $26 million above the original amount. The council decided the increased costs were unaffordable for ratepayers, and voted against funding the...

Irrigation efficiency unlikely to free up more water – study

[28 August/Radio NZ] Irrigation New Zealand remained unfazed by a report that criticised irrigation efficiency. The international report found efficiency did not free up more water for elsewhere, but only encouraged farmers to use more water themselves. It cited research from several countries. Irrigation NZ Chief Executive, Andrew Curtis, said New Zealand’s experience was different,...

Waimea Irrigators finds investor to help plug funding gap for dam plan

[27 August/Stuff] Waimea Irrigators Ltd said an investor could help fill the gap in funding for its dam project. Tasman District Council and Waimea Irrigators Limited were potential partners in the project. The cost of the project had increased around $26 million to an estimated $75.9 million in capital costs required. The council was due...

Horizon’s proposed One Plan changes could avert $105m hit to Tararua economy

[21 August/The Country] The Horizons Regional Council has approved a three stage approach to freshwater management in the region. It could result in the changes to One Plan that avert the predicted $105 million a year hit to the Tararua economy. The changes would include altering nitrogen leaching numbers, and broader changes to the plan...

Hunter Downs irrigation scheme restructures and seeks $18.5m investment

[19 August/Stuff] Hunter Downs Water is seeking $18.55 million in funding after securing the under-writing support of Rooney Holdings. The future of the proposed scheme, which could irrigate up to 12,000 hectares, was uncertain after government funding was cut earlier in the year. The new Government had said large scale private irrigation should be economically...

Greens to oppose, Labour to back Waimea dam local bill

[17 August/Stuff] The Green Party will not support a local bill designed to enable to construction of the proposed Waimea dam near Nelson. Green Party Co-leader, Marama Davidson, announced the decision to oppose the Tasman District Council Bill which is expected to have its first reading in September. The bill seeks to gain an inundation...

TDC hopes Provincial Growth Fund will plug $18m hole in Waimea dam plan

[6 August/Stuff] Tasman District Council has applied to the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund in relation to the proposed Waimea dam. A guide to the fund specifically had an exclusion for water and large-scale irrigation, so it may preclude the dam project which had received funding commitments from Crown Irrigation Investments. It was to provide the...

Healthy Rivers decision given 18 month extension

[26 July/Stuff] The Waikato Regional Council voted in favour of an 18 month extension to the implementation timetable to allow more time for decisions to be made on the Healthy Rivers proposals. The extension came after it was clear a decision could not be made by October 22. The extension will be until April 30...

Mega water scheme gets consent

[23 July/Farmers Weekly] The plans for a $260 million water storage facility in Mid Canterbury have moved a step closer to reality. Rangitata Diversion Race Management was given consent related to the storage pond. Chief Executive, Ben Curry, said they were thrilled all the work over the past five years resulted in a positive outcome....

Taranaki river health still improving

[20 July/Stuff] Taranaki’s freshwater health was improving faster than expected. Latest results showed trends improved at 49 of the 57 sites where changes could be determined. The Council’s Director of Environment Quality, Gary Bedford, said any environmental trend could be expected to flatten out and reach a new equilibrium after a period of change. He...

Moves to revive Ruataniwha dam scheme

[2 July/Radio NZ] A group of businessmen hope to resurrect the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme in the Hawkes Bay after buying the intellectual property from the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council. The council spent $14 million and four years on the scheme before the Supreme Court ruled it could not flood a large parcel of land....

Speed up clean rivers – blunt Fieldays take home message

[22 June/Stuff] In an opinion piece, Martin Taylor, the CEO of Fish and Game New Zealand notes one of the big take homes from Fieldays wasn’t a nice new piece of equipment, but was a blunt message delivered by KPMG in its Agribusiness Agenda that agriculture needed to deliver on Kiwi’s desire for swimmable rivers...

Ruataniwha plains ‘drying up’

[11 June/Radio NZ] Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Head, James Palmer, was concerned about a major increase in the amount of water farmers may be able to take for irrigation from a Ruataniwha aquifer. A board of inquiry ruled that an additional 15 million cubic metres of water could be taken from underneath the basin. Eight...

‘Suck it and see’ avo water consents worry conservationists

[7 June/Radio NZ] Northland was looking to become the avocado capital of New Zealand after the granting of water rights for growers north of Kaitaia. Seventeen growers were given resource consents to draw 2 million cubic metres of water a year from the Aupouri aquifier. Nearly 1,000 hectares of trees were being planted in avocados...

Swimmable rivers not just a rural issue, agriculture minister says

[27 May/Stuff] Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, did not accept that the Government’s freshwater quality targets were unattainable but said the whole country needed to do better. The Policy Statement for Freshwater Management set a goal of having 90 percent of rivers and lakes swimmable by 2040. Currently 72 percent of the rivers and lakes are...

Ravensdown effluent tech aimed at saving water

[7 May/The Country] Ravensdown and Lincoln University are launching new technology aimed at saving water that is being used to wash down dairy yards. According to Ravensdown Effluent Technology Manager, Jamie Thompson, ClearTech was designed to cut freshwater use, help existing effluent storage go further and reduce the environmental and safety risk. About a quarter...

Responsible irrigators should ‘tell the good news’

[19 April/The Country] Central Otago Mayor, Tim Cadogan, said that responsible irrigators needed to spread the word about good work being done in the primary sector. He added that primary and irrigation sectors were under pressure from the public to act responsibly, but did not court publicity and therefore the public did not know of...

Irrigation body confident of big projects despite govt cuts

[17 April/Radio NZ] Irrigation New Zealand was confident that ending government subsidies would not spell the end of large-scale irrigation projects. They held their biennial conference last week which looked at the future of the sector. Irrigation New Zealand Chief Executive, Andrew Curtis, said the government funded entity had only granted a small portion of...