News Archive


2015 Annual General Meeting

HWP's Annual General Meeting was held at 4pm at the Hawarden Rugby Clubrooms. In addition to the formal AGM matters the CEO and Directors informed shareholders on financial and project-related aspects of the company. The legal process and the current status of the consents was also out-lined and shareholders asked questions. There was also a brief discussion with shareholders around nutrient rules within the Hurunui District.



High Court Hearing

The High Court hearing took place in Christchurch. Both the Chairman and CEO were able to attend the latter part of it. The hearing appeared to go well with the HWP and ECan arguments against the Environment Court decision getting a good airing. As is usual in these hearings, the judge reserved his decision to be released at later date. The High Court has 3 months to release the decision but when there has been a priority hearing, as in this case, it is more typical to have the decision in about half that time, say about 6 weeks. 



High Court Appeal Application

HWP has made the decision to appeal the recent Environment Court ruling at the High Court. In order to progress the matter as soon as possible, HWP has requested and been granted, a priority hearing. The hearing date has been set down for 28th October 2015.


Shareholder Information Session

An Information Session was held at Hawarden Rugby Clubrooms last night. The gathering was an interactive session which served to inform shareholders of the company's Resource Consent issues with the Environment Court, keep them abreast of project development status and answer their questions. All Directors, CEO Alex Adams and Karen Renouf were in attendance. Directors and HWP staff wish to thank shareholders for their attendance. 


Environment Court ruling on AICL withdrawal

The Environment Court gave its decision today on the validity of the AICL withdrawal. The ruling was unexpectedly unfavourable for HWP stating that AICL's withdrawal was invalid, that leave was required to withdraw the appeal and that an abuse of process may have occurred.


HWP, AICL, NTFE and ECan attend Environment Court Hearing

Over a day-long hearing legal counsels for HWP, AICL, ECan and the Environment Court-appointed Amicus Curiae each presented detailed submissions in relation to whether leave of the Court was required by AICL to withdraw their appeal and, whether there was any evidence that an abuse of process had occurred. The Judge has reserved his decision and will publish it within two weeks.


Environment Court advises of hearing date

The Environment Court has declined to accept AICL's withdrawal of their appeal on the HWP consents on the basis that the withdrawal may have required leave of the court and that an abuse of process may have occurred. An Amicus Curiae has been appointed to assist the Court and a date for a hearing on these matters, is to be held on 7 September 2015.



Environment Court has declined to accept AICL's withdrawal, questioning its validity.


Memorandum to Environment Court

Following the withdrawal of AICL from their Appeal on the HWP consents on 7 August, NTFE have advised that they do not wish to take over the Appeal. HWP has sent a Memorandum to the Environment Court suggesting that the matter is now settled. 


Memorandum sent to Environment Court
Ngai Tahu Forest Estates (NTFE) and HWP have settled the outstanding matters relating to the NTFE s.274 appeal and on 10 February a memorandum, jointly signed by all four parties was send to the Environment Court requesting that a court order be made to grant HWP consents under the proposed conditions agreed between the parties.

HWP, ECan and appellants agree
Amuri Irrigation Company Limited (AICL), Ngai Tahu Forest Estates (NTFE), ECan and HWP have agreed on proposed consent condition changes to settle the appeals. AICL and HWP have reached an agreement on how the 7 farms that are inside the HWP Command Area, although likely to have irrigation supplied by AICL water, will be handled from a nutrient allocation viewpoint. When settlement conditions are agreed between NTFE and HWP it will be possible to request the Environment Court to issue a court order to grant the nine consents to HWP.

Solution to appeals on
Nutrient issues in sight

Mediator advice has been received that negotiations between HWP, AICL & NTFE should continue on a confidential basis without the attendance of a mediator. In recent weeks good progress has been made on a potential set of solutions that will provide a more practical way to manage nutrients. This shows real promise toward reaching a solution between the four parties.

The new Chief Executive, Alex Adams, started work on Monday 03 March. He will be visiting various people in his first few weeks and already has a meeting with the Farmer Liaison Committee arranged. Alex, along with Heidi Crawford, Chairman Lindsay Lloyd and other directors will be at Hawarden show on Saturday 15 March.


Ngai Tahu join appeal & New CEO appointed
Ngai Tahu Forest Estates (NTFE) has joined the Amuri Irrigation Company Limited (AICL) appeal under the provisions in section 274 of the Resource Management Act. Mediation has taken place between AICL, NTFE, HWP and ECan. The initial mediation has indicted that there appears to be sufficient common ground to enable an agreement to be reached between the parties. We expect to continue mediation early in 2014.

The new Chief Executive Officer has been appointed. Alex Adams will start work at the beginning of March next year. Alex has for 13 years been a senior executive at Fulton Hogan. He previously had a pivotal role working for government as Clutha Solutions Coordinator to mediate solutions to mitigate the effects of flooding on the Clutha River and in the Southern Lakes areas. He managed Central Electric, the power company in Central Otago and has direct experience in dam and infrastructure construction.


HWP is delighted with MPI's decision to grant $2.4m to HWP from the Irrigation Acceleration Fund.

For further information, please click here.



AICL appeal HWP consents

Amuri Irrigation Company Limited (AICL) has appealed the nine consents granted to HWP at the beginning of August. AICL have appealed on matters related to the nutrient management and allocation of nitrogen load limits to HWP. This means that the Environment Court becomes involved and the first process is to initiate mediation. 

Resource consent granted for Waitohi Irrigation and Hydro Scheme

Environment Canterbury has granted resource consent for a North Canterbury water storage scheme which has the potential to generate $470 million in new GDP and create more than 3,300 new jobs for the wider Canterbury region.

The resource consent hearing for the WIHS began in March and concluded late July. A series of expert witnesses presented evidence outlining how the scheme could be developed to integrate with the local environment.

HWP Chairman Mike Hodgen says the irrigation scheme announcement marks the end of a long and intensive process of collaboration and consultation for its backers.

“The project team, farmers supporting the scheme and our founding shareholders, have worked tirelessly with Environment Canterbury, the Hurunui-Waiau Zone Committee and interested groups to deliver a scheme design that met with community approval. The project will now be able to commence detailed site investigations and North Canterbury residents can finally look forward to progress on the ground,” says Mr Hodgen.

The resource consents allow for Hurunui River water to be used for irrigation and for it to be held in four dams along the length of the upper Waitohi River, supplied via two main intakes on the Hurunui River, one below Surveyors Stream and the other below the Mandamus River. The resource consents provide the potential to irrigate close to 60,000 hectares, extending as far south as Waipara and north into Cheviot, with capacity to generate electricity using a combination of run-of-river water and stored water.


Disappointment over decision to turn down loan

Hurunui Water Project (HWP) is disappointed by Hurunui District Council's decision to turn down a loan request for $6 million through its annual planning process.


"We are disappointed as we see ourselves as a community scheme and we believe we are meeting the needs of the community and the zone committee who wish to see irrigation for the district coming from one integrated scheme," says Chairman Mike Hodgen


"It is difficult to keep asking the same few farmers in Hurunui for funding when all ratepayers in our district will benefit from this development. Many other irrigation schemes in New Zealand receive financial support from district and regional councils as research shows irrigation schemes generate wider socio-economic advantages," says Mr Hodgen.
The project will continue to look for other funding options and has applied for a grant from the Government's Irrigation Acceleration Fund (IAF).

Waitohi Irrigation and Hyrdo Scheme hearing begins

The resource consent hearing to decide whether North Canterbury will gain a water storage scheme capable of generating $470 million in new GDP per annum, as well as creating more than 3,300 new jobs for the wider Canterbury region, begins on 18 of March.


The widely accepted WIHS has been developed by the Hurunui Water Project Ltd (HWP) as an alternative to an earlier proposal involving the South Branch of the Hurunui River and Lake Sumner. More than 1,000 public submissions - most in opposition - were received on the South Branch/Lake Sumner application, where WIHS has attracted only 88 submissions, with clear majority supporting the proposal.


HWP applied for resource consent for WIHS nearly 18 months ago and this week's Environment Canterbury hearing sees HWP experts begin to present evidence into how the scheme will assist the health of the Waitohi catchment. The resource consent hearing could take three weeks.


Resource suggested storing water in the Waitohi catchment will have less impact on environmental, cultural and recreational values than other sites considered in Hurunui District. Water quality and quantity of the Waitohi and Waipara catchments may improve with more regular flows and aquatic ecosystems may benefit from planned flushes of the river.
Investigations into using the Waitohi catchment for storage were encouraged by the Hurunui-Waiai Zone Committee under the Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS).


Government to invest $80 million into irrigation development

The Government has introduced the next stage of funding for irrigation in New Zealand. $80 million has been earmarked in the 2013 budget and will be invested in a crown owned company, which will act as a bridging investor for regional water infrastructure development. Click here to read the press release.


HWP resource consent hearing date
HWP has made some minor improvements to the scheme design over the past few months, which are being notified as changes this weekend. These changes include an adjustment to the position of the lower gorge dam in order to reduce landscape effects and costs (it is 600m lower down the river), a new option for the potential site for on-plains storage as well as some other clarifications.


This notification period will result in a small delay to the start of the hearing. The hearing will now commence on 18 March, which will not only allow people time to consider their submissions on the notification, but also give us a good chance of having a decision on the Hurunui-Waiau Regional River Plan.


Resource consent submissions closed

The opportunity to submit on the WIHS has now closed. HWP received 83 submissions by the due date, and of those submissions 61 were in support or neutral. This is a hugely positive turnaround from the Lake Sumner/South Branch proposal.


HWP share call
The due date for the first instalment of the second share call has passed and HWP is pleased to report that more than 90% of shareholders have paid. The new funds will help see HWP through the resource consent hearing - an expensive process given the extent of technical evidence required.

HWP community meeting

HWP is holding community meetings over the next couple of months and would like to welcome anyone in the community to come and get an update on the project and discuss ideas. Please click here to see when and where these meetings will be.

HWP selected as preferred Waitohi option

The Waitohi Irrigation Scheme Selection Panel has endorsed HWP's Waitohi proposal over two competing developers. Link to the Environment Canterbury report here or read more about the reasons why our Waitohi scheme got the nod here.


HWP's first AGM

HWP's first AGM was held on Wednesday 30 Nov 2011, 4pm, at the Hawarden Rugby Clubrooms.

Waitohi application

Environment Canterbury accepted an application from HWP last night for a scheme based on the Waitohi River. HWP plans to pump water from the Hurunui River into a reservoir at Hurricane Gully holding live storage of 210Mm3. Three further dams along the Waitohi Gorge will provide small scale storage and enable hydro-generation.

Zone Implementation Programme (ZIP) adopted
The Hurunui-Waiau Zone ZIP has been endorsed by both Hurunui District Council and Environment Canterbury. The latter is working on a new Hurunui-Waiau regional plan to give effect to recommendations in the ZIP. This plan is expected to be formally notified by the end of this month, ahead of the lifting on 1 October of moratoria on consents for the Hurunui and Waiau rivers.

ZIP released

The draft Hurunui Zone Implementation Plan (ZIP) prepared by the Hurunui Waiau Zone Committee was released Friday 29 April 2011. HWP is pleased that both South Branch and Lake Sumner have not been ruled out as water storage options. We encourage Hurunui district residents to read the draft ZIP and put written comments in by 3 June.