What is the Hurunui Water Project? 

What's been happening at HWP?       

News Updates and Newsletters

The Hurunui Water Project or HWP is a farmer-shareholder based irrigation company originating over 16 years ago within the farming community centred around Hawarden

town-ship in the Hurunui District of North Canterbury.


The Hurunui District is subject to frequent and extended droughts that impact harshly on its agricultural productivity, threatening the stability and sustainability of its communities.


HWP was formed by, and represents, a collective of  people who share a vision to see the Hurunui District become a  productive and sustainable landscape. It has the support of landowners across 42,000ha, most of whom have no current access to water for irrigation.



HWP's Consented  Waitohi Scheme

Following extensive community and environmental consultation, on 5 August 2013, HWP was granted resource consent by the Regional Council, Environment Canterbury, to build the proposed Waitohi Irrigation & Hydro Scheme (WIHS).


The consented scheme included four dams along the Upper Waitohi River and on-plains storage for distribution of irrigation water within the HWP command area. Click here for more information about WIHS.


Although there had been no appeals of a general environmental nature, the neighbouring irrigation company AICL, joined by Ngai Tahu Farming, appealed HWP's consents because they were uncertain of how the then new, nutrient limits in the consents, would be enforced.


Ultimately, this appeal took 28 months to resolve and, after taking an Environment Court decision to the High Court in November 2015, HWP's nine Resource Consents were finally granted, unencumbered in December 2015.



HWP Looking Forward

In April 2016, HWP began new consultation with its shareholders in Hurunui District farming community.


A survey showed clearly that farmers were no longer seeking high density irrigation, but instead are now looking at strategic use of irrigation on only a proportion of their properties. This, to improve on-farm economics for their existing and similar land uses, and provide resilience for their farming business against future droughts.












HWP is now working with our Feasibility and pre-construction engineering partners, Rooney Group Limited, to design the best and most sustainable irrigation scheme for our farmer/shareholder community.






Funding Proposal Implemented
At a Special General Meeting  on 27th July 2016, HWP shareholders voted unanimously in favour of the Company's proposal to implement a three-stream funding/resourcing 
package to see the company through it's Feasibility Phase.
HWP has since successfully implemented its proposed funding and resourcing strategy, comprising an interest-bearing loan with its shareholders, a Feasibility Pre-construction Agreement with Rooney Group Limited (RGL), for resources and funding and, secured $ for $ funding with Crown Irrigation Investments Limited (CIIL). 
Project Control Group (PCG)

The Feasibility Phase Project Control Group comprising expertise from both HWP and RGL has been set up. The PCG is now working to review, design and optimise intake and storage solutions for the scheme.


HWP Resource Consent and the HWRRP  
As the project moves forward towards a potential start-date we now begin planning work to fulfil conditions attached to the HWP resource consents.
Concurrently, with the review of the Hurunui-Waiau River Regional Plan (HWRRP) on the horizon, HWP continues to work closely with the Hurunui-Waiau Zone committee.
HWP's participation in the review process should achieve the desired outcome of a fully compliant scheme with optimal irrigation to our farmer shareholders throughout the Hurunui and Waipara catchment.
Annual General Meeting
The 4th Annual General Meeting was held on 23 November at the Waikari Memorial Hall. Highlights from that meeting:
  • Farmer, Mark Zino nominated & appointed as HWP Director
  • Existing Director Jim Lee  re-appointed after retiring by rotation as per the HWP Constitution
  • Discussion on the potential to provide an option for shareholders to invest set-up equity at outset of irrigation and have a consequential reduction in operational charges
  • Shareholders had the opportunity to meet our ECI  Feasibility and pre-construction partner Gary Rooney and PCG members to 'talk irrigation' with them.









Click below for:




Our Latest Newsletter:


Issue 25 - March 2017


News feed: 

Click the links below or go to News Update for further info  


29/03/17 - HWP Board Meeting brings Director changes and revised scheme design


25/03/17 - HWP at the 2017 Hawarden A & P Show


16/03/17 - Documents signed concluding agreed Ngai Tahu share ownership reduction in HWP


08/02/17 - HWP meeting Waipara catchment liaison group


01/02/17 - Chris Pile appointed Project Manager 


23/01/17 - HWP participates in ZC process for HWRRP review


16/12/16 - ECan issues consent transfer for NTF Balmoral property


15/12/16 - CIIL Funding Agreement in place for Feasibility Phase


12/12/16 - HWP Offices relocate


23/11/16 - AGM held at Waikari Memorial Hall 


21/09/16 - HWP Shareholder Loan fully subscribed


19/09/16 - Waipara Catchment Group formed to represent HWP farmer/shareholders in the Waipara (ECan Red Zone) catchment.


02/09/16 - HWP & Rooney Group sign pre-construction agreement


28/06/16 - HWP enters into new funding partnership with Crown Irrigation Investments


27/07/16 - Special General Meeting of shareholders held at Hawarden Rugby Clubrooms


25/07/16 - HWP and Ngai Tahu Farming sign Heads of Agreement


23/05/16 & 19/05/16 - HWP holds a series of shareholder meetings. .


11/04/16 - HWP gets HDC Support


22/03/16 - MPI commits IAF funding to HWP - project work resumes


18/12/15 - ECan issues HWP Resource Consents


8/12/15 - High Court decision released ...favourable for HWP