What is the Hurunui Water Project? 

What's happening now at HWP?       

HWP News Updates and Newsletters

The Hurunui Water Project or HWP is a farmer-shareholder based irrigation company originating over 15 years ago within the farming community centred around Hawarden

town-ship in the Hurunui District of North Canterbury.


Frequent and extended drought 

periods continue to impact harshly on the agricultural productivity of the Hurunui District, threatening the stability and sustainability of its communities.


HWP represents a collection of  people within the community with a shared vision to see the Hurunui District become a productive and sustainable landscape.


HWP has the support of landowners across 42,000ha, most of whom have no current access to water for irrigation.



The Waitohi Scheme Proposal

The current, CRC consented plan for the HWP is the Waitohi Irrigation and Hydro Scheme.


The scheme was proposed to include four dams along the Upper Waitohi River as well as on-plains storage for distribution of water within the HWP command area. 


Following extensive community and environmental consultation, resource consent for the Waitohi Irrigation and Hydro Scheme (WIHS) was granted by Environment Canterbury on 5 August 2013.


There were no appeals of a general environmental nature.


In December 2013, the Hurunui and Waiau River Regional Plan was made operative by Environment Canterbury under the Resource Management Act.





To find out more about the Waitohi Irrigation and Hydro Scheme please click the tab below.




HWP has Resource Consent     

HWP holds nine Resource Consents to take, store and use water for irrigation in the Hurunui District, plus an additional consent to change land use in the command area. The consents were those originally granted in August 2013, that became subject to a long and expensive appeal process which finally saw them granted, unencumbered, on 18 December 2015.

HWP has MPI Support
In March, HWP signed a new funding contract with the Ministry of Primary Industries which will provide a grant of $520,000 from its Irrigation Acceleration Fund to support HWP’s Initial Step Programme. Additionally, MPI have stated their intent to reserve further funding to support a Stage 1 Full Feasibility work programme. 
HWP is Talking to Farmers
Farming in the Hurunui District has changed a lot since HWP first applied for resource consent and with it the irrigation requirements of farmers.  A vital step towards assessing what the scheme will look like involves talking with farmer shareholders to find out what they are planning for their farms, and discussing their future irrigation requirements. HWP has procured the services of Walton Farm Consulting to gather this information.


Click below for:

  • latest news and developments 
  • press releases & media coverage
  • HWP Newsletters or go directly to our latest Newsletter:



 Issue No. 22 - March 2016



News feed: 


9/12/15 - High Court decision released ...favourable for HWP 


25/11/15 - HWP 2015 AGM held at Hawarden


28/10/15 - High Court hearing - reserved decision


12/10/15 - HWP to appeal Environment Court decision within High Court


30/09/15 - Shareholder 

Information Session held at Hawarden Rugby Clubrooms


18/09/15 - Environment Court decision released... disappointing


7/09/15 - HWP, AICL, NTFE and ECan attend Environment Court hearing


24/08/15 - Environment Court appoints Amicus Curiae and sets hearing date


11/08/15 - Environment Court 

does not accept AICL appeal withdrawal


10/08/15 - AICL has withdrawn its appeal on HWP consents... Ngai Tahu...


11/02/15 -  Agreement between AICL, NTFE, HWP and ECan is reached and a settlement proposal is tabled with the Environment Court 


20/12/13 - Ngai Tahu Forest Estates (NTFE) joins AICL appeal


31/08/13 - Amuri Irrigation Company Limited (AICL) appeals HWP consents. 


5/08/13 - HWP Consents granted.