7 Feb 2013

RMA, water rules high on new minister's agenda

7:48 pm on 7 February 2013

The new Minister for Primary Industries says helping to reform the Resource Management Act and water rules are the top of his list of things to do.

Nathan Guy says he will be working closely with Environment Minister Amy Adams on these issues this year.

Mr Guy says that when it comes to water, he will be looking to further the work of the Land and Water Forum.

Mr Guy says keeping on top of the biosecurity element of his new portfolio will also take up much time, as will animal welfare legislation due to go through Parliament this year.

Mr Guy replaces David Carter as the Minister for Primary Industries.

Mr Carter was elected as the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Hawke's Bay visit

On Tuesday, Mr Guy, during a visit to Hawke's Bay to meet up with sheep and beef farmers struggling to cope with the dry conditions, visited the site of the proposed Ruataniwha Plains Water Storage Project.

The Government has promised $80 million in funding for a Crown owned investment company to provide capital for such projects to get off the ground.

Mr Guy says the Ruataniwha project which aims to provide irrigation for 25,000 hectares of land, is an ambitious one, which could cost more than $200 million.

But the potential benefits are huge and the downstream effects of a project like this one are in the vicinity of $250 to $300 million economic return per annum.

Mr Guy says there will be significant benefit not just for those getting water put onto their farmland, but also the wider Hawke's Bay region as well.