In late 2014, council allocated $75,000 from the IGR to undertake a 'Northland Strategic Irrigation Infrastructure Study', with a matching contribution from the Ministry for Primary Industries Irrigation Acceleration Fund. The purpose of the study was to undertake a high-level, region-wide study to identify the opportunity for irrigated agriculture to contribute to Northland's economic development. This work was also included in the Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Action Plan given the potential of irrigation infrastructure to lift the region's performance.
A key finding of the study was that further detailed work should focus on two 'clusters' – one in the region's mid-North (containing the Kaikohe, Kerikeri and Waimate North areas) and the other to the south in Kaipara (containing North Kaipara and Ruawai). Another important conclusion reached in the report was that other uses, such as public drinking supply and industrial demand, may be key to making a community based water storage scheme economically viable.
Findings of the study
The study, completed in 2016, is available to download in four parts below.