- With a current estimated construction cost of $409 million, the proposed CPW scheme will be one of the largest construction projects ever undertaken in the South Island.
- Once the scheme is fully operational, annual direct and indirect regional agricultural output is expected to increase by $437 million. As a consequence of these output increases, agriculture is estimated to generate ‘added value’ totaling $266 million.
- Processing is estimated to generate an additional $590 million a year, with $186 million of added value (contribution to national GDP).
- Direct and indirect employment is estimated to increase by around 2,800 jobs (1,300 in agriculture and 1,500 in processing).
- The combined impact of scheme construction and ongoing additional farm activity is estimated to increase direct-plus-indirect regional output over 35-years, the maximum permitted consent period under the RMA, by about $34 billion output with $15 billion added value with $186 million of added value (contribution to national GDP).
- The CPW scheme’s contribution to GDP will be the equivalent of a Rugby World Cup – every year.
- Agriculture contributes $20 billion worth of export returns per annum into the New Zealand economy – around 17% of GDP. By comparison, the tourism industry earns around $5 billion per annum. In Canterbury, farm gate agriculture comprises 7% of New Zealand’s GDP.
- New Zealand is very vulnerable to drought. The 1997-98 drought cost $1 billion at the farm gate and had a significant impact on the overall performance of the economy, well into 1999. The 2001 drought was less severe but was estimated to have cost farmers $2.5 million a day in lost production.
In past years, irrigation was mostly about drought protection, however it is now a farm management tool to maximise net farm returns, in drought and non-drought years.
- Export income from Canterbury’s rural sector accounts directly and indirectly for 60-70% of Christchurch’s economic activity. Canterbury farmers spend around $750 million every year on goods and services provided by Christchurch businesses.
- In the last 15 years, New Zealand’s agricultural productivity has increased by almost 4% per annum – approximately four times the rate achieved by the total New Zealand economy. If the rest of the productive sector could match the productivity level achieved by agriculture, the Government would meet its goal of being in the top ten OECD countries within ten years.