The Tasman District Council's decision to vote against the Waimea Dam project last week left many people in the rural community disappointed.

However, there is still hope the project could go through, as chief executive of Irrigation New Zealand Andrew Curtis told The Country's Jamie Mackay.

"There is a glimmer of hope out there," says Curtis, who confirms the council is going to have another vote on Thursday, after Waimea Irrigators put together a revised funding model for consideration.

Read more: Tasman District Council votes against Waimea Dam
Read more: Listen: Waimea Dam rejection 'mind-numbing ignorance'


"It's my understanding that what this does is it really focuses the rate increase in on those areas which receive direct benefits ... the town of Richmond and some of the commercial players, but obviously the Waimea Plains itself. And then what it does is it takes some of the pressure off the Motueka and Golden Bay area who obviously don't receive that direct benefit".

Listen below:

Mackay asks Curtis why irrigation has such a bad reputation in New Zealand.

"There's just been this branding that's happened over the last few years around irrigation [that it] equals dairy farming which equals poor water quality and environmental issues," says Curtis, who believes that some water issues come from incorrect land usage.

"Irrigation has actually not caused this problem, it's actually the land uses and it's all about how we control those land uses and ensure that certain land uses are only done in certain areas so they don't impact on the environment".

Also in today's interview: The Country's dairy correspondent Andy Thompson explains the unique aspects of irrigation in the Waimea Plains.