Improved relationship between irrigators and the Government

Rural Exchange 19/08/2018

A year after what proved to be an acrimonious election stoush between irrigators and the Labour Party, co-operation between the two parties has improved.

During the election, the use of irrigated water for farming was a particularly sticky point.

It was an issue that had farmers out marching in protest; one that led to NZ First leader Winston Peters ruling out a key Labour Party policy - a tax on irrigated water.

However, Irrigation New Zealand chairperson Nicky Hyslop says they've had some positive discussions with the government to help them understand changes to irrigation on-farm.

"The key thing that we keep saying to the government is to make sure you have a really good understanding of irrigation and its benefits to the rural communities before you make changes to policy,” Ms Hyslop told RadioLIVE’s Rural Exchange.

She says healthy lines of communication come just in time for what is looking like a very long, dry summer ahead.

Nicky Hyslop also discusses Irrigation NZ's work with local communities to communicate the flow on effect of irrigation schemes, and the best ways for farmers to survive the upcoming dry summer.

Watch the full interview with Nicky Hyslop above.

Rural Exchange with Hamish McKay, Sarah Perriam and Richard Loe, 5-7am Saturday and Sunday on RadioLIVE with Carter’s Tyre Service. Click here for all the ways to watch and listen.