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Rangitaiki Community Irrigation

Regional Council and Whakatane District Council made a successful application to the MAF Community Irrigation Fund (now called the Ministry for Primary Industries Irrigation Acceleration Fund). 

As a result, opportunities for a community irrigation scheme on parts of the Rangitaiki Plains were investigated to a pre-feasibility stage between 2010 and early 2013.  Four technical reports and a Summary Report 5 were completed by Opus Consultants. The full reports are available on the Ministry of Primary Industries website. The summary document is called Part 5 - Final Strategy Report.

The Summary Report was presented to both Councils, the Rangitaiki River Forum and Plains Federated Farmers between April and June 2013. Both Councils requested that staff engage to determine ‘the next steps with regard to the viability of establishing a scheme’.

Regional Council recognised that a number of people in the Plains rural community were aware of the report findings through participation in stakeholder workshops, but most knew little about the scheme pre-feasibility options. 

To share this information with the wider Rangitaiki Plains rural community, an Open Day was held in November 2013 and was well attended by a number of rural landowners and key stakeholders from the Plains.

Rangitaiki Irrigation posters A useful summary of the findings to date is provided on the display materials (pdf, 1.4MB).

There were also a number of short presentations from Hugh Ritchie (PDF, 200KB) a Hawkes Bay farmer and Board member of Irrigation NZ; Janine Barber (PDF, 1.8MB) Senior Environmental Scientist Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Mark Macintosh  (PDF, 570KB) of AgFirst.

Following the Open Day, the Lower Rangitaiki River Water Management Working Group of farmers, rural interests and Council representatives has been set up to determine whether there is a significant level of interest in a community-led irrigation scheme on the lower Rangitaiki Plains.

They produced a survey for rural landowners on the lower Rangitaiki Plainsto provide an initial indication of the level of interest in a community irrigation scheme.

The survey closed in late May. The Working Group will share the results soon.