The North Otago Irrigation Company is continuing to reach
On April 17, it announced it had made its seventh repayment
to the Waitaki District Council - $286,000 - against the $10
million loan granted in 2006.
The council loan enabled the company to create infrastructure
for two stages at the outset, when only stage one was
actually being supplied.
Now, stage two is under way.
As a requirement of the loan agreement, the company must
repay $1000 plus a pro-rata proportion of the accrued
interest as each stage two share is issued.
The total number of shares issued in stage two has reached
1686 and the total repayment $2.4 million.
More than 300 further shares are under agreement but have not
yet been issued.
Company chief executive Robyn Wells said she was very pleased
with the progress being made.
''We have now in place almost 60%, or 12,000 shares, of the
20,000 available shares in the scheme and are irrigating
''Major investment is now required to enable the final 8000
shares to be put on the market.
''We are currently meeting with small groups of landowners in
the expansion area to gauge their interest in irrigation and
all the signs to date are very positive,'' Ms Wells said.
The company had also received a grant from the Ministry for
Primary Industries' irrigation acceleration fund of $381,000,
which would go towards design, legal and planning work, ''all
leading to a formal offer to the market in late 2014''.
''We are confident we will put forward the best possible case
we can for the farmers' consideration.''
Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said the latest developments
showed how co-operation between the council and irrigation
company could bring substantial benefits to the whole
''This venture is the single most significant investment in
economic development that the council has been involved in.
''Irrigation brings great economic gains to the North Otago
area and I congratulate NOIC for the work they have done and
continue to do,'' Mr Kircher said.
''The benefits go far beyond the farmers involved and include
many other farmers and businesses across the district.
''With more people working on the land it helps our schools,
medical services, social services and more.''
- by Sally Brooker