MPs visit region

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Primary Industries minister Nathan Guy, accompanied by associate minister Jo Goodhew, visited North Otago farms and irrigation projects yesterday, during a brief whistle stop visit to the region.

The tour, hosted by Waitaki Irrigators Collective Limited and Hunter Downs Irrigation, began with a visit to the arable farm of the Mitchell and Webster Group in Weston and moved on to include the Lower Waitaki Irrigation Company and the North Otago Irrigation Company’s intakes at Borton Rd; the Maerewhenua District Water Resource command centre; habitat regeneration at the Waikakahi Stream and the Morven, Glenavy Ikawai Company depot.

The pair also visited the Wainono Lagoon at Makikihi and the Hunter Downs Irrigation Company’s command centre and wrapped up the visit with an inspection of a dairy conversion project at Otaio.

Central to the ministerial visit yesterday was the announcment by Mr Guy of the investment of $750,000 into irrigation projects in Central Otago and $100,000 in the Rangitikei.

Funding for both projects is coming from the Government’s Irrigation Acceleration Fund (IAF).

Mr Guy said there is major unrealised potential across the country for further irrigation development and these two projects will help unlock that,” he said.

“This is about creating jobs and exports, particularly in provincial New Zealand.

“It will play a major part in realising the Government’s goal of doubling primary sector exports by 2025.”

Bu Jacquie Webby