10 Feb 2010

Government move on water projects applauded

4:00 pm on 10 February 2010

The Government says it intends to remove regulatory roadblocks to water storage and irrigation in Canterbury.

Prime Minister John Key says this will be in addition to other work being done to improve water storage infrastructure throughout New Zealand.

The move has pleased industry groups, including Irrigation New Zealand and Federated Farmers.

Irrigation New Zealand applauds changes to regulations to make it easier to get water storage projects off the ground, but also wants to see a commitment to providing initial funding for water storage infrastructure.

Irrigation New Zealand chairman Graeme Sutton says it is expected that will happen during the next round of reforms to the Resource Management Act.

The Government is also investing heavily this year in research to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions.

It will also fund a national network of food development and commercialisation facilities to develop new ingredients and consumer product.

Meanwhile, the Agricultural and Horticultural Science Institute says it is heartened by the announcement of an initial $40 million contribution from the Government to the Primary Growth Research Partnership.

President Jon Hickford says the message coming from the Government about boosting science funding is positive.