Irrigation: Balancing agriculture and the environment

Strategy and Programme Development

Irrigation plays an important role in the agricultural sector. HenleyHutchings has extensive experience in how to derive wealth creation from irrigation, whilst also managing resources sustainably. It is not without its challenges, as a quick review of the national scene would testify.

We have ongoing engagement with the development of irrigation schemes, particularly in Canterbury and Otago. We have worked with the North Otago Irrigation Company, Waitaki Irrigation Collective and the Manuherikia Irrigation Scheme. We have provided advice to each of these developed and developing irrigation schemes on strategy, particularly as it relates to the engagement of farmers.

More recently, we have been involved with the Hawke’s Bay-based Ruataniwha Scheme. We also undertook a review of irrigation potential in the Rangitikei as part of the Accelerate25 regional development Action Plan in the Horizons region.


  • Developing consensus and agreement on water management strategies that satisfies all parties while managing resources sustainably.


  • Analysis – bringing national industry context to local situations

  • Strategy – creating a pathway through complex situations

  • Communications – deep stakeholder engagement, media engagement

  • Facilitation – to achieve consensus across stakeholders with opposing views

  • Collaboration – with a wide range of stakeholders including farmers, local government, the community and special interest groups.