[10 October/Stuff]

Irrigation New Zealand Chief Executive, Andrew Curtis, resigned after 10 years in the job. He would start up his own consultancy. He said the Government’s change of direction over irrigation had no bearing on the decision. There was uncertainty around almost a dozen large scale projects, as subsidiaries were withdrawn and farmers unwilling to provide funds. Mr Curtis added he would focus on providing honest and independent advice to farmers on best management practices related to water and the environment. He wanted to spend more time with his family, as the executive position meant a lot of time away from home. He noted there was a gap in the market for honest and independent advice. Although government policy was changing towards large scale irrigation for dairying, it would still be needed for cropping.