Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why has Crown Irrigation been established?

Crown Irrigation has been established to help harness the opportunity that irrigation provides to improve productivity in the primary sector, create jobs, increase export earnings and, ultimately, accelerate New Zealand’s economic development. To help achieve this, we provide grant funding to support scheme development and make targeted investments to help schemes undertake construction.

Why is private investment into irrigation insufficient? Why does the Government need to be involved?

Schemes are typically initiated at the regional level, by those who intend to use them. However, regional scale irrigation schemes have not been developed to the extent needed to fully realise the benefits that irrigation can provide New Zealand.  The Government can play a key role in supporting schemes that arise as a result of regional initiatives, so that the benefits of these schemes to New Zealand can be realised.

How much money does Crown Irrigation have to support scheme development and construction?

The Government has committed to providing up to $400 million of investment through CIIL for scheme construction. A total of $120 million of this has already been appropriated to CIIL through Budget 2013 and 2014. Another $22.5 million has been allocated to CIIL between 2016 and 2021 to provide as grant funding to support regional scheme development.

Crown Irrigation has three core functions:


Co-investing in irrigation schemes


Providing grants to irrigation schemes in development


Applying commercial expertise and leadership to irrigation schemes