Media Release – Share offer opens for irrigators to invest in 100-year community water supply

Waimea Irrigators Limited (WIL) has publicly released a Product Disclosure Statement for the Offer of Water Shares, which opened yesterday and is publicly available for irrigators on the Waimea Plains to consider.

The Product Disclosure Statement is an offer to buy water shares in WIL. Shareholders can enter into agreements that allow them to apply under the Tasman Resource Management Plan (TRMP) to affiliate an existing ground water or surface water permit for water provided by the Dam, once it’s built. Landowners will be able to apply for shares in WIL even if they don’t have an operative water permit, which would enable potential future water users to buy into the scheme.

WIL Project Manager Natasha Berkett says the offer is the culmination of effort over the last 17 years by dedicated farmers and orchardists who have been working hard to secure a reliable supply of water.

“Irrigators affected by the devastating drought of 2001 came together with both Councils, DOC, Iwi, and Fish and Game and decided they needed to safeguard against the effects of future droughts,” Ms Berkett says. “They knew our region needed a dependable supply of water to continue farming the Waimea Plains, which is one of Tasman’s economic engines.

“All these years later, we are finally here with the best chance we have to secure a cost-effective solution that helps the broader community as well.”

WIL and Tasman District Council (TDC) are proposing to provide a long-term water augmentation solution for irrigators on the Waimea Plains and urban residents. The solution is the Waimea Community Dam, which will provide three key benefits: a secure water supply for irrigation, a secure water supply for current and future urban residents, and minimum flows in the Waimea River. WIL is expecting to contribute $38.6 million to the construction of the Dam, in part through the purchase of shares.

The goal is to get 3,000 shares committed before the offer close date of 22 March. To reach it, WIL has asked more than a dozen irrigators to become Ambassadors and talk to their fellow irrigators to assist with the process of learning about the offer.

“It’s worth celebrating just a little bit today that we’ve arrived here, but tomorrow we will get to work spreading the news about this offer.

“We want to take a very personal approach to this process. Ambassadors will hand deliver copies of the document to the more than 200 respondents to WIL’s 2017 expressions of interest survey. They will point out where all the information is in the document and ask if there are any initial questions.

“One of the key points to make is that each potential investor should seek professional advice because this is a significant matter for any landowner or business to consider.”

Additional copies of the Product Disclosure statement will be posted to known land owners on the Plains.

A commitment of 3,000 shares will enable WIL to move forward to fund its portion of the Waimea Community Dam. The share price is $5,500, which is in line with what WIL has been communicating to irrigators for months.

“Irrigators have been saying since 2001 that they need a permanent solution to this water supply problem,” Ms Berkett says. “With the increase in extreme weather events that we’re seeing – the dryer dries and the wetter wets – we must work within the natural system we have to maintain our region’s agricultural foundation while we manage growth and improve our river’s environment. The Dam is a unique opportunity for us to solve all of these issues, with a shared cost structure.

“We are confident irrigators will commit.”

Waimea Irrigators Limited is the issuer and offeror of the financial products found in the Product Disclosure Statement for the Offer of Water Shares in Waimea Irrigators Limited, dated 2 February 2018. This document is available for download on Further copies of the document can be obtained by writing to Waimea Irrigators Limited, PO Box 3171, Richmond 7050 or by email to