11 December, 2012
Irrigation fund project given green light
Primary Industries Minister David Carter says the go-ahead for the Wairarapa Water Use Project has the potential to irrigate an additional 30,000 to 50,000 hectares of land and boost the area’s GDP by $400 million.
Speaking at the launch of the Business Growth Agenda - Building Natural Resources progress report, Mr Carter welcomed today’s announcement of a $2.5 million pre-feasibility study to develop water storage and distribution in the Wairarapa.
The study is jointly funded by the Government’s Irrigation Acceleration Fund and the Greater Wellington Regional Council.
“This is exactly what the Government wants to see – projects that are carefully planned and aim for sustainable natural resource use,” said Mr Carter.
“Water is our greatest natural resource, it is New Zealand's liquid gold and it is our competitive advantage. We must make the best use of it.”
The Wairarapa Water Use Project is the seventh project to come out of the $35 million Irrigation Acceleration Fund announced in last year’s Budget. The Fund supports the development of irrigation proposals to the ‘investment ready’ prospectus stage.
“This Fund is an important part of the Government’s Business Growth Agenda and is key to building a more productive and competitive economy,” said Mr Carter.
“Projects will only succeed if they are committed to good industry practice that promotes efficient water use and environmental management, particularly around land-use intensification.”