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On 9 May, the Prime Minister and Ministers of Agriculture and Environment announced a package of measures recognising the strategic value of water to New Zealand's economy and way of life.
The package comprises:
Find out more on the announcements.
Read the Cabinet paper on the Irrigation Acceleration Fund, and an NZIER report on the economic impact of government support for water infrastructure.
Read other Cabinet papers related to the A Fresh Start for Fresh Water Programme.
Irrigation plays an important role in agricultural productivity and is a major contributor to the New Zealand economy. In 2002/03, irrigation was estimated to contribute around $920 million net GDP "at the farm gate", over and above that which would have been produced from the same land without irrigation. Since then, the area of irrigated agriculture and horticulture has increased by about 25 percent, from 480 000 hectares to around 600 000 hectares. A further 1.9 million hectares of land is capable of being irrigated.
The largest areas under irrigation are in Canterbury, Hawkes Bay Marlborough and Otago.
MPI has a number of work programmes that involve irrigation, including support for the investigation of new projects and generating investor and community support and detailed design for proposed schemes.