Northland's economic development has welcomed government funding for water storage in the region, saying it would help the region's economy.

Northland Inc's acting CEO Vaughan Cooper said that Northland's economy is thirsty for water storage and use solutions as the districts suffer from Jekyll and Hyde weather patterns that leave our horticultural industry and the wider economy under pressure.

Cooper welcomed Friday's Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) announcement of $18.5 million as a major boost for Northland to help unlock potential for the Mid-North and Kaipara.

A number of previous studies into water storage and use, and this recently announced initiative, are part of the Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Action Plan, which is being facilitated and supported by Northland Inc.


The PGF will invest up to $18.5m in water storage to unlock land-use potential with
Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones saying the money will be invested to help investigate and, if feasible, construct community-scale water storage and use options in Kaipara and Mid North.

"This project is the largest PGF investment to date in water storage. Regional Economic Development ministers backed the proposal because of the real opportunities that ensuring a more reliable water supply could bring to the region - up to $150m in increased horticulture earnings per year and up to 1150 jobs created," he said.

The Northland Regional Council will receive the funding and will work with other councils in the region, iwi and the community to undertake the necessary work required to support the project's construction.