Home What we do Who we are Where we are; Contact us Projects Who we work with Interests and concerns Links Christchurch Water Infrastructure Publications and presentations Water Information World Water Day 2019

Irrigation and Freshwater Management Policy Changes

At the same time as a National Policy Statement on Versatile Land and High Quality Soils is being prepared [see News 15 May 2018], Environment Minister, David Parker, has indicated a change in policy on fresh water management, including government support for irrigation.  He states that recent economic growth supported by expanded and intensified dairy farming and exports, in turn supported by new irrigation, have been detrimental to environmental quality.  The expansion and intensification of dairying, especially in regions like Southland and Canterbury, caught both territorial and regional government agencies unprepared.  Although comprehensive and collaborative remedial activity has occurred, it will still take a long time – decades – to see improvement in some areas.  Central government intends to extend successful approaches nation-wide, driven by changes to the existing National Policy Statement on Freshwater.  On the other hand, the Crown Irrigation Fund is being wound up, in line with this Government’s view that irrigation schemes should not be taxpayer subsidised. [For contrast, see the News post here for 18 May 2011.]

Sources:  Media reports including Farmers Weekly 13 April 2018