An irrigation scheme unlocking high-value agriculture on the Ruataniwha Plains could increase regional income by $230 million a year and translate into 2250 extra jobs, not to mention the flow-on environmental and social benefits.
The construction costs of the Ruataniwha Water Storage Project, its distribution network and on-farm investments, were expected to total about $600 million, generating an additional 4500 “job years” of work spread over a number of years and an additional $210 million of household income.
Farming production as a result of the reservoir would almost entirely be for export, increasing shipping through the Port of Napier.
This would increase its revenue and profits back to its owners, the ratepayers of the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council.
An additional 8000 containers of export cargo per year and possibly 1000 containers of inward cargo was expected.
The project would increase Hawke’s Bay’s regional GDP by 4 per cent and employment by 3.6 per cent across all sectors that benefit from the growth of farming and processing.