Andrew Curtis, CEO of Irrigation New Zealand, said it was a very sad day for Hawke’s Bay and New Zealand following the decision by the Supreme Court on the proposed Ruataniwha land swap.
“The Ruataniwha dam depended on that land swap. If the dam does not go ahead it will have a significant impact – particularly on Central Hawke’s Bay farmers and the rural businesses that support them, and on the Tukituki River.”
“The new rules in the Council’s Tukituki plan are reliant on the dam being built because the plan provided for much higher minimum flows in the river. Without the dam there are severe water restrictions ahead for existing irrigators. The horticultural irrigators in particular will run into big problems without the dam, as they need a reliable supply of water to grow their fruit and vegetables. We need to remember Hawke’s Bay is a key horticultural region for New Zealand.”
“Farm storage is an option but it is considerably more expensive. This means production costs will go up – which will threaten the resilience of Hawke’s Bays thriving horticultural sector. Farm storage is also only a feasible option for those situated next to the river itself.”
Mr Curtis said the health of the Tukituki River would also be affected. Climate change predicts lower rainfall for the Hawke’s Bay ranges and this will result in longer periods of lower river flow.
“Rainfall in the ranges dictates how much water flows down the river – without storage to augment the flow the community will see their favourite swimming holes dry more often and there will be less fish to catch.”
The dam would have operated much like the Opuha Dam does now, underpinning river flows and supporting native fish and other aquatic species.
“We don’t envy the Councillors as they’ve now some tough decisions to make. Do they enable the dam through the public works pathway? If not, there needs to be an urgent plan change to address the minimum flow predicament.”
For more information or further interview contact Andrew Curtis, CEO Irrigation New Zealand, on 027 496 6314
Or Liz Crawshaw, Silvereye Communications, 022 176 6953
It’s been a busy time for many Selwyn farms over the past few months. After a record breaking dry spell in late 2017, we received some welcome rain in January. In conditions like these, irrigation is really important both for….. Read more
The importance of water storage in helping provide a reliable supply of water for urban communities, and for food and energy production in a changing climate needs to be recognised, says IrrigationNZ. “We are seeing the effects of poor future….. Read more
As year’s went 2017 was a fairly dramatic one. In February, one of the biggest fires in New Zealand history ignited on the Port Hills amid tinder dry conditions, causing thousands of residents to be evacuated. In March, the….. Read more
Bay of Plenty dairy farmers have the opportunity to join a free workshop showing them how to optimise their irrigation use. The workshop will be run by IrrigationNZ and will cover how to assess how well irrigation systems are performing…… Read more
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
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
March 6 - March 7
Given the considerable interest shown, INZ have organised a workshop on how to be effective working and negotiating with tangata whenua. Proudly supported by our training partners The learning objectives of this are to: Have a basic idea of who….. Read more