27 Apr 2010

Study puts irrigation project benefit at $500,000

2:55 pm on 27 April 2010

A proposed irrigation project in Wairarapa could pump an extra $500,000 into the wider Wellington economy, according to a new study.

The study was commissioned by the Wairarapa Water Use Project group and looks at the economic benefits of an irrigation scheme.

The proposed project would irrigate up to 30,000 hectares of the Wairarapa valley from Mount Bruce to Lake Ferry.

The study by economic consultants Nimmo Bell and BERL found that if 80% of landowners in the area adopted irrigation in the first 25 years, the wider Wellington economy would receive an extra $526 million and up to 14,000 jobs would be created.

The chair of the Wairarapa Water Use Project group, Fran Wilde, says the study has found there would be significant economic benefits, with increased farm production and employment.

Ms Wilde says the group will investigate the irrigation project in more detail and look to source funding to apply for resource consent.