Thursday, 04 March 2021 10:25

IrrigationNZ seeks protection of small, rural drinking water users

Written by  Staff Reporters
IrrigationNZ chief executive Vanessa Winning says that the Government's Water Services Bill will collectively cost rural drinking water users upwards of $16 million. IrrigationNZ chief executive Vanessa Winning says that the Government's Water Services Bill will collectively cost rural drinking water users upwards of $16 million.

IrrigationNZ has submitted feedback on the Water Services Bill this week to seek protection of small drinking water users in rural areas.

“We wholeheartedly agree with the intent of the three waters reform, and absolutely want to ensure rural communities have access to clean drinking water and not have another Hastings issue happen again, but there are a number of small individual farm owners and water users, which are being unintentionally captured by the Bill” says IrrigationNZ chief executive Vanessa Winning.

She says the submission explains, through case studies, how an alternative pathway can be sought for farmers and water users that still delivers on the intent of the Government’s bill.

“Around 2,600 of our irrigators are inadvertently deemed suppliers of drinking water. Water sampling set out in the Bill would collectively cost them about $16 million.”

Winning says that figure is likely an underestimation if dryland farming and other uses are taken into account.

“Some of the reasons they are inadvertently captured by this bill because, due to historic arrangements or very fast civic development, there is no water supply in place on their farms or in that area; in many cases they provide for urban supply or to a regional council, or irrigation distribution systems like pipes or channels are used to deliver water which in turn becomes a drinking water supply,” she says.

Winning adds that IrrigationNZ is also concerned about the implementation of the bill, because regional councils are already stretched trying to roll out new water regulations.

“IrrigationNZ appreciates the opportunity to provide feedback on this important bill.

“As the provisions of the bill are debated and then finalised, we are hopeful that decision-makers remember these small rural drinking water suppliers and support organisations/farms that are providing a service that is not currently met by council supply.”

More like this

'State-sanctioned theft'!

Government plans to push through its controversial three waters reforms - taking over the control of water services and assets from local councils - has been labelled theft.

Control freak

OPINION: The instinct of the current Government to centralise control of everything is going to come to a guster when it comes to water reform.

Murky waters

OPINION: Your canine crusader knows there is a great deal of unease - especially in rural NZ - about the Government's three waters reforms.


Partnership to reduce ag emissions

The Government will commit $710 million over the next four years to accelerate efforts to lower agricultural emissions, expand the…

Machinery & Products

A new approach to apprenticeships

By taking a new approach to its apprenticeship programme, agricultural equipment supplier Norwood says it is ensuring farmers’ machinery will…

Buck-Rake does the job

With many self-propelled forage harvester manufacturers offering machines hitting 1000hp, the bottleneck in any harvesting system is always likely to…

Pigtail standards made to last

Feedback from farmers highlighted frustration at the time and cost involved in frequently replacing failed pigtail posts.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Say what?

OPINION: This old mutt almost choked while chewing his bone when he happened upon the latest politically-correct advice that’s been…

Why bother?

OPINION: A mate of the Hound’s recently applied for membership with Ashburton-based farm supply co-operative Ruralco.

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter