Water

Auditor set to examine NZ’s water supply systems

[11 June/ Radio NZ] Water is the Office of the Auditor General’s 2017/18 work theme, and the office will examine irrigation, resource consent management and drinking water supplies, particularly looking at how effectively the resource is being managed by local and central government. The Office of the Auditor General will table this plan in Parliament...

New coalition forms to tackle freshwater quality

[8 June/ Radio NZ] Successive governments’ inaction on degraded waterways has caused a cross-sector group including Forest and Bird, Fish and Game, Choose Clean Water, Greenpeace, Tourism Export Council and the Federated Mountain Clubs, to come together to create a new freshwater plan. The Freshwater Rescue Plan details seven steps for future governments to follow...

New swimmable standard ‘less stringent’ – NIWA

[11 May/ Radio NZ Rural] According to a report conducted by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), the new Clean Water Package released by the Government in February has a less stringent minimum acceptable standard for swimmable waters than the 2014 National Policy Statement it would replace. The Government has denied this,...

Massive grant for North Otago irrigation extension and upgrade

 [9 May/ Stuff] Kurow Duntroon Irrigation Company has received $388,000 from Crown Irrigation Investments Ltd to reach the construction stage of its irrigation infrastructure update. Crown Irrigation Investments Ltd provides funding to irrigation schemes throughout New Zealand, and its funding to Kurow Duntroon Irrigation Company will enable the construction of a new piped scheme to...

Further expressions of interest encouraged for Hunter Downs irrigation scheme

[4 May/ Stuff] Hunter Downs Water (HDW) has encouraged farmers to register their interest in the proposed Hunter Downs irrigation scheme by May 15. Project Manager Stacey Scott said the $195 million scheme would not proceed unless enough shares were sold by the deadline. Greenpeace Senior Campaign Advisor Steve Abel said this was the second...

Report into Havelock North water crisis delayed

[28 March/ Radio NZ] The deadline for the Havelock North’s water contamination crisis full report has been delayed nine months. The report was initiated after over 5000 people in Havelock North became sick with gastrointestinal illness after drinking contaminated water in August. An independent inquiry was asked to investigate how the water became contaminated, how...

Govt opens door to a price on freshwater

[20 March/ Otago Daily Times] Ministers are writing to a technical advisory group to investigate a water allocation price in relation to the relatively small bottled water industry, and particularly whether companies should be charged to export bottled freshwater. Prime Minister Bill English said any charge would mark a fundamental shift in policy, with the...

Crown argues it has power to revoke status of conservation land in Ruataniwha appeal

[27 February/ National Business Review] The Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society has challenged the Court of Appeal’s Department of Conservation land swap decision. The challenge was enlivened after director-general of conservation, Lou Sanson, successfully revoked the conservation status of a 22 hectare piece of Ruahine Forest Park land within the boundaries of a proposed...

Farmer group optimistic after “fruitful” council meeting

[27 February/ Stuff] After hearing concerns from farmer groups such as Farmers for Positive Change, the Primary Land Users Group and King Country River Care, the Waikato Regional Council will soon decide whether to withdraw the Healthy Rivers plan change. Central to the farmer groups’ argument is the use of a nitrogen reference point to...

River plan remains unchanged

[Water /Rural News] Waikato Regional Council says that the submission process over the Waikato River clean-up plan has not been affected by a judicial review lodged with the High Court.  The application for review was lodged by Horticulture New Zealand and five other organisations seeking a judicial review of the decision by the regional council...

‘Industrial dairying’ criticism of Hurunui irrigation project untrue, say backers

 [Water /Business Day: NZ Farmer] Alex Adams, the Hurunui Water Project CEO, says that Greenpeace is wrong to claim the proposed scheme on the Hurunui River will lead to large scale intensive dairying and a degraded river.  Mr Adams said that the scheme is very different to original proposal, with dairy development now being a...

What a difference a year has made to the Opuha Dam

[Water/ Business Day: NZ Farmer] Opuha Water CEO, Tony McCormick, has noted that the dam has started 2017 full to the brim having been at low levels at the same time in each of the last two years (41% in at the start of 2015 and 66% at the start of 66%).  He noted irrigation...

Iwi appeasement upsets others

 [12 December/ Farmers Weekly] A legal battle over the future direction of the Healthy Rivers plan in the Waikato region may arise out of the Regional Council’s decision to pull part of the catchment from the plan until iwi issues were dealt with. Hauraki iwi were threatening legal action against the council for a lack...

Key supporter of Ruataniwha Dam resigns

 [25 November/ Radio NZ] Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company Chairman, Andy Pearce has resigned from the Council’s investment company. Mr Pearce chaired the company since it was formed in 2012 and did not give any reason for his resignation. Mr Pearce was a driving force behind the $900 million Ruataniwha Dam in Hawke’s Bay which...

Irrigation investment will strengthen hard hit province

 [25 November/ Rural News] Federated Farmers North Canterbury President, Lynda Murchison said the investment of $3.4 million into the Hurunui Water Project by Crown Irrigation Investments would ensure the future resilience of North Canterbury. Ms Murchison added that the scheme had tight environmental controls and farmers only needed to water to reduce their vulnerability to...

Irrigation ‘a dam’ good thing

 [21 November/ Rural News] Irrigation New Zealand Chair and South Canterbury Farmer, Nicky Hyslop, recently hosted a field trip on her family farm northwest of Timaru as part of the Grassland Association Conference. The farm has 208 irrigated hectares which are used to rear lambs and cattle, grow spring feed and specialist seed crops. Ms...

Farmers say river plan will kill businesses

 [10 October/ NZ Farmers Weekly] According to Waikato farmers, the Waikato Regional Council’s Healthy Rivers Wai Ora plan would drive them out of business or severely limit what they could do on their properties. Waikato University Professor of Agribusiness, Jacqueline Rowarth said data had shown that levels of contaminants in the Waikato River were moving...

Billboards shine spotlight on dairy intensification

[30 September/ NZ Herald] Greenpeace has erected anti-Ruataniwha Dam billboards around Hawke’s Bay. Greenpeace Sustainable Agriculture Campaigner, Genevieve Toop said Greenpeace wanted to make a clear link between the Ruataniwha Dam, intensified dairying and water pollution, and send a message to voters that these elections were really important. Ms Toop added that the new council...

Urban waterways need focus also

 [28 September/ Dairy News] Water New Zealand President Elect, Dukessa Blackburn-Huettnew said all New Zealanders had to play their part in keeping the country’s rivers clean and healthy. Ms Blackburn-Huettnew explained that urban stormwater run-off from roads and carparks was not treated before it ended up in our rivers and underground waterways. Ms Blackburn-Huettnew said...

Shareholders approve completing $400m Central Plains irrigation scheme in 2018

 [28 September/ NZ Herald] Central Plains Water shareholders have unanimously approved the second stage of the major South Canterbury irrigation scheme which would irrigate 50,000 hectares of dairy, horticulture and stock land once it was completed. The total project was estimated to cost $400 million, with $250 million to be spent on the second stage....

Greenpeace’s Normal lobbies ACC not to invest in Ruataniwha

[8 September/ National Business Review] Greenpeace New Zealand Director, Russel Norman has asked ACC Investment Manager, Nicholas Bagnall, not to fund the Ruataniwha Dam project. ACC declined to comment on rumours that it was the institutional investor who had conducted due diligence on the $275 million project. Mr Norman said the Ruataniwha Dam decision had...

Ruataniwha setback?

[6 September/ Rural News] Forest & Bird have successfully appealed against a High Court decision which would have allowed a controversial land swap deal to take place. The land swap deal would have enabled the Ruataniwha dam scheme to go ahead, a project which aimed to irrigate 25,000 hectares of Central Hawke’s Bay farmland. Forest...

Water woes spread to Pahiatua

 [4 September/ NZ Herald] Tararua District Council Strategy and Development Manager, Peter Wimsett said the council had issued a boil water notice after Pahiatua’s water bore tested positive for E. coli over two days of testing. Mr Wimsett added that people should boil their water for drinking, ice-making, food preparation, brushing their teeth and preparing...

Irrigation could make ‘massive difference’ in North

[4 September/ Rural News] According to the Northland Strategic Irrigation Infrastructure Study, an additional 92,000 hectares of Northland’s land could potentially be irrigated and would make a significant contribution to its regional economy. Northland Regional Council Economist, Darryl Jones said if all 92,000 hectares were irrigated, it could contribute up to $247 million annually to...