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dc.contributor.advisorBond, Sophie
dc.contributor.advisorDay, Rosalind
dc.contributor.authorHarrington, William Lawrence
dc.identifier.citationHarrington, W. L. (2015). Irrigation for the sake of irrigation: Exploring the Relationship between Neoliberalism, Irrigation Projects and Resource Management Planning in New Zealand (Thesis, Master of Planning). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractNeoliberal processes and policies have had significant implications for the management of freshwater across the globe. In particular, the ongoing privatization of freshwater in order to create and maintain markets can be seen as a distinctly neoliberal pattern. In New Zealand, the current government has begun the process of investing up to $400 million dollars in private irrigation companies in order to stimulate economic growth. This investment is designed to expedite the development of large scale irrigation projects, in turn providing for more intensive farming operations. One of the projects to receive government funding has been the Hurunui Water Project – a recently consented proposal to irrigate 60,000 hectares of land within North Canterbury. Using the Hurunui Water Project as a case study, this research questions whether neoliberal processes are bound up in the roll out of large scale irrigation projects, and asks whether these projects are generating socially sustainable outcomes within rural New Zealand communities. Using a critical social science methodology, this research combined both primary and secondary research questions in order to address the research problem outlined above. Secondary research consisted of a literature review and document analysis, including the extensive review of grey material. This was complimented by key informant interviews within the Hurunui District. These interviews ultimately provided a wide range of insights into the challenges and pressures that rural New Zealand communities are facing in relation to irrigation and agricultural intensification. From these interviews, it emerged that there were concerns from both proponents and opponents alike of the Hurunui Water Project that there may be few winners under the scheme. In particular, there was a concern that the local community – including farmers – were being expected to bear the cost of a number of social externalities associated with water privatization and land use change, whilst the benefits lie elsewhere. To this end, neoliberal processes appear to be intricately bound up in the current roll out of irrigation in New Zealand, in a number of complex ways. This in turn is generating social effects which provide an insight into the planning challenges around large infrastructure projects, as well as the planning challenges associated with building socially sustainable rural communities on the back of irrigation.
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.titleIrrigation for the sake of irrigation: Exploring the Relationship between Neoliberalism, Irrigation Projects and Resource Management Planning in New Zealand
dc.language.rfc3066en of Planning of Otago
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
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