Peter Jolly, chairman of Tarras Water Ltd, hopes all
shareholders of the company will continue with the irrigation
scheme, but adds ''there's no guarantees in this world''.
The Otago Daily Times reported yesterday there might not be
as big an uptake of shares as intended and Mr Jolly's
comments were made before he learned of the report to the
Otago Regional Council recommending they did not financially
support the scheme. The company had asked the council to buy
30% of its shares.
Mr Jolly declined to comment on the recommendation when
The scheme would supply 40 families in Tarras with water
pumped from the Clutha River, irrigating 5999ha.
Some of those families have said it would be far too
expensive for them to continue. While they took up shares in
the company at the outset, that was to fund feasibility
Now they have been given a clearer indication of likely
costs, many are undecided whether to continue. Others will
stick with current irrigation arrangements.
Mr Jolly said in light of a recent independent report into
the future viability of the Lindis irrigation scheme, which
many people in the area use, he thought people would continue
with the Tarras scheme.
The water right for the Lindis scheme is set to expire in
2021 but before then, the regional council has proposed new
minimum flows be implemented.
He said the report painted a ''bleak'' picture with a lot
less water to go around.
''There could be one or two drop out [of the Tarras scheme]
but I wouldn't be surprised if one or two come in because the
future for people staying on the Lindis is pretty bleak.''
The Otago Daily Times called 15 people in Tarras to ask about
involvement in the Tarras scheme and found many fingers were
pointed at Mr Jolly and other directors for pushing the
Tarras scheme for their own benefit.
Mr Jolly and his cousin Bruce Jolly are directors of Tarras
Water Ltd and Lindis Irrigation Ltd.
However, Peter Jolly said he did not think that was a
conflict of interest as he believed he was unbiased.
''Yes, it will benefit my own property ... it's going to
benefit anybody who is a part of it.
''Ye,s land values are going to go up, but is that such a bad
thing?''He said his motive was to leave a legacy for future
Regional council chairman and hearings panel member Stephen
Woodhead also said he did not think there was a conflict of
''It's a relatively small community and we're aware that
there is some duplication between both irrigation
Mr Jolly said he felt it was the duty of the Lindis company
to commission the report so shareholders could get a good
idea of the future of their scheme.
''It was pretty bleak.
''All the knockers have forgotten that the Lindis River has
been the backbone of the local economy for the last 90 years
... all of a sudden the right to that water will be taken
When asked whether he thought the issue had divided the
Tarras community, he disagreed but said it had ''definitely
''If we do nothing, that will be more divisive in the
community 'cause we will have mate against mate, family
against family squabbling for water ... if we get to 2021 and
we've done nothing then there will be blood.''
Tarras Water shareholders would pay an unconfirmed $633 per
hectare they wish to irrigate per year, not $900 as was
reported yesterday. Mr Jolly said the company was working to
bring the cost down, which is why it was still unconfirmed.
• Estimated cost $39.2 million.
• Land irrigated would be just under 6000ha.
• Water take 4500 litres a second from Clutha River, between
September and April only.
• Maximum take 73.6 million cu m.
• Need 70% uptake in ordinary shares with attached water
• ORC asked to buy the remaining 30% as dry equity, expected
to be repaid as more farmers pick up shares.
• Rest of cost to be funded by bank loan; Central Otago
District Council agreed to act as guarantor for 20% of loan
with conditions including ORC support for the scheme.