[27 February/Stuff]

The Waikato River Authority’s (WRA) $100 million investment plan into organics has received a positive response from investors since its launch in November. The plan aims to secure the capital to buy 12-18 dairy farms within the Waipa catchment and convert the land into low impact organic dairy operations. This would allow the halfway pollution reduction target to be achieved in the Waipa Catchment’s 10 year plan. Bob Penter, Chief Executive for WRA stated he was pleased by the response from investors across the globe and that people have responded from all parts of the dairy supply chain. Mr Penter says the plan is ready to go ahead but warns investors that the funder needs to be prepared to underwrite the bond during the low cash flow period whilst the organic certification occurs. The project has support from the Maniapoto Māori Trust, and upon investor support will be the first large scale environmental impact investment project of its kind in New Zealand.