Crown Irrigation provides funding for North Canterbury Emu Plains Scheme

06 March 2017 | Author: Murray Gribben

Crown Irrigation provides funding for North Canterbury Emu Plains Scheme

Crown Irrigation Investments Ltd. (Crown Irrigation) has agreed development grant funding of $142,000 for Emu Plains Irrigation Incorporated (EPII) to assist in funding the work programme required for ascertaining the commercial viability of the scheme.  

The Emu Plains Irrigation Scheme (EPIS) proposes to take water from the Waiau River for the irrigation supply of a pipe and storage scheme to approximately 6,000 to 7,000 ha of land on the north-bank of the Waiau River, north Canterbury.

Murray Gribben, Chief Executive of Crown Irrigation said: “The scheme is in line with Environment Canterbury’s Hurunui-Waiau Plan development process and will pave the way for considerable economic agricultural and environmental benefits for the region.”

“EPII, established in May 2016, has already raised $200,000 from its agricultural members (representing 2,000 ha) to help fund this phase”, Mr Gribben said.

The area covered by the scheme includes 4,000ha of existing irrigators who would potentially join the scheme and between 2,000 and 2,700 ha of new irrigators. The total area of Emu Plains properties is 22,000 ha which consists of approximately 34 farms that are predominantly sheep and beef with the remainder being dairy and dairy support properties.

In line with Crown Irrigation’s mandate, the scheme is targeted at an optimal size to future-proof the project. When completed the scheme would have the capacity to improve the efficiency and reliability of irrigation in this area, to provide an irrigation opportunity to dry-land farmers, to provide a pressurised pipe water supply, and to establish a scheme capable of delivering more effective nutrient management and irrigation economies of scale.

“Irrigation schemes have added significant economic and environmental benefits to local regions and the New Zealand economy in other parts of the country and the EPIS should deliver significant resilience to the local economy and efficiencies with water storage if the work in this important phase delivers the positive results expected.”

“Crown Irrigation is looking forward to working alongside EPII to work through this development phase and help deliver the benefits the scheme will provide to the region,” Mr Gribben said.

Irrigation schemes provide the opportunity for irrigators to switch from ground water to scheme supplied water, which is environmentally beneficial.

Crown Irrigation provides both development grant funding and construction capital to irrigation schemes across New Zealand. The development grant funding helps support (through matched funding) the development of irrigation infrastructure proposals to the stage where they are ready for construction, which means they must be commercially robust and demonstrate a high level of community support.


For more information contact:

Murray Gribben 021 126 8682