26 Oct 2018

Large-scale Canterbury irrigation project in new hands

6:06 pm on 26 October 2018

An irrigation company has bought the resource consents for the large-scale Hurunui Water Project.

Cows near the Hurunui River in Canterbury.

Amuri Irrigation Company has bought the council consents for the Hurunui Water Project in Canterbury. Photo: Supplied

Shareholders on the Hurunui Water Project have voted unanimously to sell the council consents to Amuri Irrigation Company.

Amuri Irrigation chairperson David Croft said the company was aware of a strong desire for irrigation to be delivered to farmers south of the Hurunui River in north Canterbury.

"This area has suffered from the impacts and effects of drought over recent years and an irrigation scheme will bring certainty and security to those farming in the area," Mr Croft said.

The Hurunui Water Project was established to help farms south of the river and has about 195 farmer shareholders.

Most of the shareholders are landowners, but many have no current access to water for irrigation.

The project hit difficulties when it got a poor response from farmers to an offer of water rights, so Amuri Irrigation stepped in to buy the consents.

The Amuri company already irrigates more than 28,000 hectares of land in the Amuri Basin in Canterbury, taking water from the Waiau and Hurunui Rivers.

A significant amount of work is still needed to transfer the resource consents to Amuri Irrigation.

The company said it was working urgently to complete the process.

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