At last a Minister who knows what’s important

The threat of drought underlines the importance of irrigation and it was also emphasised in MAF’s BIM to David Carter.

There’s no doubt he recognises that because one of his first initiatives as Minister of Agriculture  is a seminar at which representatives of irrigation schemes in Otago and Canterbury can air their concerns to a delegation of Ministers.

While those attending the December 20 seminar in Christchurch are yet to be confirmed, Minister of Agriculture David Carter is inviting who he sees as the relevant Ministers, including the Minister of Infrastructure Bill English.

He also hopes to have representatives from ‘15 to 20’ schemes.

‘Part of the plan is to get my fellow Ministers up in the air so they can get a better idea visually,’ Carter says.

‘A number of the schemes are in various stages of development. I want the guys behind them to tell us about their schemes and what impediments they have come up against.

‘Then we can start to look at what sort of assistance we may be able to give.

‘At some point we’re still going to have the debate about water allocation but first let’s have a look to see if there are any easy ways to increase availability.’

Part of the seminar will showcase the Opua irrigation scheme in South Canterbury, which has been going for 10 years.

‘It’s been an outstanding success. It’s achieved everything. The river flow has actually improved. There’s a recreational lake and there’s even a component of electricity generation.

‘It’s a win-win situation.’

When infrastructure is mentioned we hear a lot about roads and broadband, but the Minister also recognises that irrigation is infrastructure too.

Carter says water storage is one of the areas of infrastructure that the National Government plans to invest in.

‘We want to invest in areas that are going to give the quickest return to the economy.

It’s a huge relief to have a minsiter who understands what’s important to agriculture and its place in the wider economy and is doing something about it.

It also helps to have a Minister who is a farmer because he can speak from his own experience, as he did yesterday when advising farmers threatened by drought  to make decisions early.

4 Responses to At last a Minister who knows what’s important

  1. dutchie down south says:

    HP, this quote from an article out of todays Herald’s online edition “Prime Minister John Key will attend a special hui tomorrow to discuss concerns of Maori tribal leaders from across the country, including issues around the ownership and management of water.”

    Are they sidetracking David here ?, it would have been good to have him there first hand or are we going to do it the old socialist way and organizing an other hui after this to discuss the result of this hui….and so on…..what happened to National’s catch frace…less hui and more doi ?

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  2. anon says:

    and lets hope they can fast track the rma at the same time

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  3. homepaddock says:

    DDS – while the hui and seminar are both about water I don’t think they cancel each other out.

    A friend had a meeting with David on irrigation recently and said he made more progress with him in that one meeting than he had with multiple other ministers in the last nine years so that gives me hope there will be a lot more doi than hui.

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  4. dutchie down south says:

    HP, don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything about the fact that John Key is attending a hui, far from it..I’m very happy about the coalition of support between National and the Maori Party..but we have to be very careful after been critical of Labour for 9 years not to continue along the same lines and I am very curious about the results.

    However it is good to hear that David is getting on with the job.
    During the election campaign we had David and Eric at our place for a shed meeting and in 5 minutes David “solved” the whole immigration problem we have got with getting specialists in from the Netherlands in to assist us, yep assist and not taking kiwi jobs, with the harvest…let the farmer/horticulturist bring them in and trust them to bring them back to the airport when the harvest is finished…and that is exactly what we want !!
    And I think the Edendale community is happy as well when they are gone…all those young Dtuchies on the loose.Mothers lock up your daughters..:-)

    But enough said and sidetracked, the 25mm from last Monday is gone..I’m on my way to shift some irrigatiors. I don’t know about N-Otago but the forecast for Southland looks promising rainwise..but rain means no spraying…..us farmers never win do we ?

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