The Otago Regional Council needs to review its support for
irrigation development, chief executive Peter Bodeker says.
About two years ago the council agreed on a policy offering
capital support of up to $2 million, or equity investment or
underwriting, to enable irrigation infrastructure
It would only be offered after normal commercial borrowing
and equity investment options had been exhausted, and the
reasons for their rejection identified.
The policy was put to the test with the Tarras Water Ltd
irrigation scheme, which the council declined to fund because
it was considered too risky.
However, the council was pushing ahead with its minimum flow
proposal for the Lindis River, which would restrict the
amount of water available to the catchment.
Mr Bodeker said at a recent public meeting on the Lindis the
issue of funding for irrigation development was raised.
Since then, the council had investigated how it would address
such funding, especially as a result of Local Government Act
changes, he said.
''Is the current policy appropriate?'' he said.
Management would prepare a paper for the council to consider
at a future meeting.