Government support for water scheme welcomed
Recent government support of $575,000 for delivering the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme has been welcomed by the Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company Limited (HBRIC).
HBRIC Chief Executive Andrew Newman says the ongoing support from the Ministry for Primary Industries through the Irrigation Acceleration Fund (IAF) has enabled HBRIC Ltd to maintain very good momentum on successfully completing the final steps towards delivering the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme.
"In particular the funds, which matched those contributed by HBRIC Ltd, are being applied to tasks associated with final technical due diligence, water contracting and investor negotiations," says Mr Newman.
He says the scheme has, with the help of IAF funding over the past 3 years, obtained the necessary consents, delivered an acceptable construction design, developed a robust capital structure and established that there is a genuine demand for reliable and secure water for irrigation water in Central Hawke's Bay.
"Once fully operational the scheme has the potential to create more than 2,000 ongoing jobs, inject at least $200 million a year into the region's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), strengthen the social fabric of our rural communities and give us a better Tukituki River."
Martyn Dunne, Director General of the Ministry for Primary Industries also sees the project as one that would have great benefits for the Central Hawke's Bay community.
"Through the IAF, we have recently committed $575,000 to the Ruataniwha Water Storage Project," says Mr Dunne.
"The project supports the environmental, social and cultural wellbeing of the Hawke's Bay region and will provide economic benefits to the region and wider New Zealand economy.
“IAF is a mechanism we use to support sustainable primary sector growth in the regions, helping to achieve the government's goal of doubling the value of primary industry exports by 2025."
The IAF helps support the development of irrigation infrastructure proposals to the stage where they are investment ready, which means they must be commercially robust and demonstrate a high level of community support.
Government also supports these projects through Crown Irrigation Investments Ltd, which acts as a bridging investor for regional water infrastructure development.
Environmental opportunities offered by water storage include more consistent river flows in summer and reduced pressure on ground water sources. Water storage can also support urban water management.
The Ruataniwha Water Storage Project is led by the Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company, the investment arm of Hawke's Bay Regional Council.
By constructing a storage dam on the Makaroro River, 25,000 hectares of land in the Tukituki Catchment of Central Hawke's Bay will have highly reliable irrigation.
Find out more
- Ministry for Primary Industries: Stephanie Slattery 021 719 533
- Hawke's Bay Regional Council: Helen Shea 027 662 5953