Federated Farmers give National Party water storage announcement a ‘big tick’
Today’s announcement from the National Party on water storage is exactly what farmers have been crying out for so we’re giving the policy the big tick of approval, Federated Farmers Freshwater Spokesperson Colin Hurst says."The reality is that New Zealand is getting less water when we need it, and more when we don’t.
"It makes a lot of sense to support more water capture and storage to help even out those peaks and troughs. There are so many benefits to this kind of infrastructure," Hurst says.
"We’ve got no shortage of water in this country. New Zealand isn’t running out of water, water is simply running out of New Zealand."
Water storage has a critical role to play when it comes to climate change resilience in our rural communities, but there will be other benefits too like supporting land use change and increased production.
That’s why Federated Farmers made ‘Unlocking the potential for water storage’ one of our 12 policy priorities for this year’s general election.
"This presents a huge opportunity for New Zealand to increase the value, volume, and variety of our primary sector exports and supercharge our economy - and it’s arriving just as New Zealand needs it the most."
Hurst said that under current regulations it was near impossible to get any new water storage off the ground.
"The system is completely broken.
"To offer some examples, a water storage scheme in Wakamoekau was recently abandoned because of endless red tape. Meanwhile, the Matawii Dam near Kaikohe has recently been completed and is beginning to fill with water.
"The difference between these two schemes? The Matawii project was granted a Ministerial fast track.
"Federated Farmers are strongly of the view that if a water storage scheme relies on Ministerial backing to get off the ground, then the system clearly isn’t working."
Environmental concerns shouldn’t be used to block new water storage schemes that are desperately needed when farmers are already subject to a suite of rules that ensure the environment will be protected.
"Farmers should be able to access the water they need to grow their businesses, and the New Zealand economy, provided they are meeting their environmental obligations," Hurst concluded.
For more information contact:
Colin Hurst, Federated Farmers Vice-President and freshwater spokesperson, 027 689 5898
Simon Edwards | Senior Communications Advisor, Federated Farmers
Email: [email protected], Mobile: +64 (0)27 484 8892