1 Nov 2010

Irrigation company hopes to avoid cost of appeals

4:28 pm on 1 November 2010

The Central Plains Water company hopes to avoid a costly appeal process by reaching negotiated agreements with those still opposing its scheme for a large-scale irrigation scheme in Canterbury.

The company has been granted consents to extract water from the Rakaia and Waimakariri rivers to irrigate up to 60,000 hectares of farmland between the two rivers.

It has taken more than five years to get this far, at a cost of about $10 million. It is seeking to raise another $3 million and more to fund it for the next two or three years.

Chairman Pat Morrison says that is to cover the cost of appeals and preparing for the financing and construction phases of the scheme.

He says the company hopes to be able to negotiate so as to avoid going to the Environment Court.

Mr Morrison says the existing 300 or so farmer shareholders will have first option on the additional shares that Central Plains is issuing to raise the money.

He says if existing shareholders are able to sell if they don't want to take further shares.

Mr Morrison says others who didn't get shares the first time will be able to buy these shares.