Irrigation New Zealand

« Back to media releases

26th September 2017

Farms and businesses with new products, technologies, or practices that exemplify innovation in irrigation are being encouraged to enter IrrigationNZ’s ‘Innovation in Irrigation Award’, sponsored by Southern Wide Real Estate.

The highly prestigious award promotes innovation in irrigation and has a $2,500 cash prize. Entries for the award are now open and close at the end of October.  The entry process is simple and requires only a short application be completed.

“Previous finalists and winners have benefited from the exposure and profiling that follows and we want more innovative individuals and businesses to experience these opportunities” says Chris Coughlan, Business Manager at IrrigationNZ.

“The brief for the ‘Innovation in Irrigation Award’ is very broad with a focus on recognising innovation in the irrigation sector. The awards will recognise ordinary people and businesses doing new and extraordinary things. This could range from innovative practice or behaviour, a new product or technology or innovative community thinking around irrigation,” says Mrs Coughlan.

Presented every two years at IrrigationNZ’s biennial Conference and Expo, the winner in 2016 was Carrfields for its innovative irrigator stabiliser. The HydroFix Irrigator Stabiliser System consists of a series of inflatable water tanks connected to a pulley and counterweight systems along the length of an irrigator. During very strong winds, the turn of a tap fills the tanks with water and lowers them to the ground to secure the irrigator at the centre of each span. When the wind danger has passed, the water tanks can simply be drained and after this they will raise themselves to a ready to activate storage position in two stages, requiring minimal effort from the operator. The independent judging panel said Carrfields’ HydroFix system was chosen because it held wide application for New Zealand’s irrigation market and was the result of solid research involving several parties.

Other highly commended entries in 2016 were Next Farm’s smart control systems for grid irrigation, Lindsay Corporation’s new pivot control and Central Plains Water Ltd for its environmental innovations and management of its stage one development.

“We would encourage you to get in touch with us if you have an innovation, discovery or achievement we should know about or to nominate someone else. There’s a lot of diversity in the irrigation sector and we are excited to be able to highlight this though this award at our national conference in Central Otago in March 2018,” says Mrs Coughlan.

“In today’s environment it is even more important to promote the good work being done on farms, orchards, vineyards and in our industry. We know there are lots more examples of innovation in irrigation out there and we encourage people to come forward and share their stories through this award,” she adds.

Key dates and award information can be found at People can also contact Kate Mills or Chris Coughlan for more information by phoning (03) 341 2225 or emailing or

« Back to media releases



Irrigation Workshops – Marlborough and Tasman

7th December 2017

With challenging dry conditions continuing across the Upper South Island, Marlborough and Tasman irrigators will have the opportunity to find out how to be more efficient in their water use at upcoming workshops hosted by IrrigationNZ. “Understanding how to monitor….. Read more

Advice for irrigators over a long, dry summer

7th December 2017

With much of New Zealand experiencing exceptionally dry conditions, IrrigationNZ has some advice for irrigators on how to make the most efficient use of water over summer. According to NIWA, several areas in the South and North Island came close….. Read more

Irrigation a boost for communities

4th December 2017

IrrigationNZ supports Minister of Regional Development Shane Jones’s announcement that regional economic development funding could support some water irrigation projects. “Water infrastructure plays a vital role in creating resilient rural communities,” says IrrigationNZ Chief Executive Andrew Curtis.  “Several New Zealand….. Read more

IrrigationNZ back to help improve irrigation management

23rd November 2017

IrrigationNZ will be back on farms this summer testing irrigation systems and helping farmers improve the efficiency of their irrigation. Last summer, IrrigationNZ in partnership with Environment Canterbury, developed a new testing programme which saw 131 Ashburton farms have their….. Read more

Petition misrepresents irrigation facts

14th November 2017

IrrigationNZ says that the petition presented by Greenpeace at Parliament today misrepresents how irrigation has been funded and used and ignores the wide range of benefits to New Zealand from irrigation, as well as the efforts being made to address….. Read more


Irrigation Efficiency Summer Programme

November 7, 2017 - February 28, 2018

                                 Is your irrigation equipment operating as it should? What improvements could be made? These are questions that can be technically challenging and costly. To help irrigating farmers navigate to Good Management….. Read more

New Zealand Certificate in Irrigation System Design

January 18, 2018 - January 19, 2018

Acquire the specialist skills required to design technically efficient and environmentally sustainable irrigation systems. This certificate is suitable for people with prior knowledge and experience in irrigation. You will be required to design two different irrigation systems so will need….. Read more

Irrigation Accreditation

Smart Irrigation