Work to construct a water storage reservoir to support the emergence of new horticultural development on the Pouto Peninsula has commenced.
Te Tai Tokerau Water Trust, which is building the reservoir, hosted the mayor of Kaipara District Council Dr Jason Smith and other stakeholders at a gathering at the site of the reservoir near Glinks Gully.
The reservoir, known as Redhill, is planned to be built in two stages. The first will hold approximately 270,000m3 and is expected to be operational before the end of the year.
Stage two will see Redhill expanded to a much larger three million cubic metre reservoir and the Trust is actively seeking consents to allow this development to occur at a later date and as demand for more water is established.
Trust chair Murray McCully said it was an important day for the district.
“Redhill is the first step in the Trust’s vision to create a wider water storage and distribution scheme on the Pouto Peninsula. Water will allow the establishment of new horticultural development in the Kaipara and this will bring economic opportunity to its communities,” Mr McCully said.
The completion of both stages of Redhill would ultimately support in the order of 1000 hectares of new irrigated horticulture in the district.
“Breaking ground on this water storage project helps facilitate the next steps of the North Kaipara Agricultural Delta projects of the Kaipara District Council. We are excited and grateful for the work the Trust has done and for the transformational change these developments will provide for the region in decades to come,” Kaipara District Council mayor Dr Jason Smith said.
Water take consents from the lower reaches of drains and creeks on the Northern Pouto Peninsula have already been issued by the Northland Regional Council to assist with planned future storage developments of the Kaipara scheme.
The Trust has already secured commercial arrangements with orchardists who wish to establish operations on sites serviced by Redhill and it is likely Avocado will be planted before the end of the year.
A Northland contractor has been chosen to build stage one of Redhill.
“The idea is simply to harvest water in the winter, when it is plentiful, for use in the summer months when it is not,” Murray McCully said.
Pre-feasibility studies into the predicted economic benefits that could be realised by implementing water storage schemes in Kaipara showed they could bring an extra $220m to the region each year.
The Trust, which is also developing water schemes in the Mid North around Kaikohe, had received $68m from the Provincial Development Unit to fund the projects. Of this, $8.5m is in the form of a grant, the rest is a loan.
The schemes are designed to collect water from natural sources like streams and drains in times of high flows through pumping systems and gravity. The water would then be stored in reservoirs and distributed through a network of pipes in times of need.
Landowners would need to provide their own infrastructure to make use of the water once it was delivered to the farm gate.
About Te Tai Tokerau Water Trust
The Trust has been established for the purpose of progressing the Northland Water Storage & Use Project from feasibility into implementation. It consists of two separate water supply areas that are being developed in parallel: in the Mid North in and around Kaikohe and along the Pouto Peninsula southwest of Dargaville, in the Kaipara. Its objective is to create the infrastructure needed to promote sustainable land-use change to high-value horticulture which will in turn lift the prosperity of local communities and offer an alternative source of water for municipal supply.
For more information contact Greg Hay - 021545054