Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis has checked in on progress and confirmed his support for the Matawii water storage reservoir near Kaikohe.
The senior government minister was given a guided tour of the site by members of Te Tai Tokerau Water Trust, who are building the reservoir. They were also joined by the former Regional Economic Development minister, Shane Jones, who had previously championed the water storage scheme whilst in government.
“Northland suffers regularly from water shortages and developing water storage is essential for maintaining supplies for towns but also for developing horticulture. Here’s an opportunity to back Northland not just to maintain jobs but to create new ones,” Mr Davis said.
Matawii is the first project nationally to be granted resource consent under the new COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track consenting) Act. It is the first of several reservoirs and water schemes the Trust plans to develop in the Mid North and Kaipara which combined would allow for the development of up to 7000ha of land to high value horticulture.
“The fast track consenting process needs to be fast otherwise it is a pointless exercise and the North needs this project to be able to deliver. I’ve had conversations with my colleagues and there is no doubt the government is committed to it. This is the type of development that the region needs,” Mr Davis said.
Construction of an access to road to allow building to start on the reservoir is currently underway. Matawii covers about 18ha and will have a capacity of 750,000cu m and is expected to create up to 60 jobs. It is hoped to be operational by summer 2021/22.
It will be filled by pumping water from nearby streams in times of high flows when rainfall is plentiful. The water will be used for horticulture, by the under-development Ngawha Innovation and Enterprise Park, which lies directly next to the reservoir, and as a backup water supply for Kaikohe in times of drought.
Trustee Dover Samuels, who previously held Davis’ Te Tai Tokerau parliamentary seat himself, said it was important Northland’s MPs were kept updated about the project.
“You just have to look at Kerikeri to see what a reliable source of water can do for a community. The water schemes the Trust are creating will bring new investment and opportunity to the Mid North and Kaipara regions and the benefits will be shared by all,” Mr Samuels said.
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
L to R: Ken Rintoul (trustee) Murray McCully (Trust chair) Andrew Carvell – obscured (project leader) Shane Jones, Dover Samuels (trustee) Kelvin Davis