Agriculture Minister David Carter says irrigation projects must have the support of the environmental lobby if they are to succeed.
Mr Carter told delegates at an irrigation conference in Christchurch that irrigators cannot expect unfettered access to water and that
environmental needs can't be ignored.
He said the delegates would have to work to build the trust of the community if they wanted irrigation projects to succeed.
Green Party co-leader Russel Norman questions, however, whether environmentalists and irrigation groups can work together on irrigation projects. Collaboration is unlikely, Dr Norman says, given the Government's approach to water in Canterbury.