Water

Tasman District Council gives Waimea dam project final nod [30 November/Stuff] The $105.9 million Waimea dam project will proceed after Tasman district councillors voted 9-5 in favour of the controversial proposal to construct a 53m concrete-faced rockfill dam in the Lee Valley, near Nelson. The council will have a joint-venture partner in the project – Waimea...

Waikato River Authority unveil investment plan to clean up Waipā Catchment

[26 November/Stuff] A new $100 million investment plan has the potential to halve the Waipā Catchment’s 10-year pollution reduction target put forward in the Healthy Rivers plan change. Led by the Waikato River Authority (WRA), the investment plan aims to secure the capital to buy 12-18 dairy farms within the catchment and convert these properties...

Focus now on selling remaining shares

[16 November/Otago Daily Times] With the final stage of its infrastructure construction project complete, the North Otago Irrigation Company is now in a position to focus on selling its remaining shares. Waitaki District Council loaned the company $17 million in 2015 to help fund its 10,000ha stage 2 expansion to its irrigation scheme. The company...

Select committee recommends Waimea dam local bill be passed with amendments

[6 November/Nelson Mail] The report of the Governance and Administration Select Committee has recommended that the local bill designed to enable the construction of the Waimea Dam is passed. Nelson MP, Dr Nick Smith, welcomed the Committee’s unanimous support for the bill’s passage, noting that they were strongly influenced by the strength of submissions from...

The Vision is Clear – Dairy NZ’s new waterways movement

[1 November/The Country] Dairy NZ has launched The Vision is Clear, a new movement about water quality which it is hoping that all New Zealanders will get behind. The initiative came about from dairy farmers desire to be better understood and supported by the wider population according to CEO, Tim Mackle. Dr Mackle said the...

Hurunui Water Project shareholders agree to sell resource consents to Amuri Irrigation Company

[24 October/Stuff] Amuri Irrigation Company is set to purchase to Hurunui Water Project’s resource consents. This would end debate around whether the local council should invest in the scheme. Just one third of the offered 21,000 water rights were bought due to a poor uptake from farmers. HWP shareholders voted to accept AIC’s offer. HWP...

Water starts flowing to farms from giant Central Plains Water irrigation scheme

[23 October/Stuff Business] The Central Plains Water Irrigation Scheme has reached a key milestone with stage two of the development being switched on supplying water to 150 additional connections across 20,000 hectares between the Rakaia and Waimakariri Rivers.  CPW has delivered the scheme on time and within budget and provides farmers with the opportunity to...

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....