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Wrap-up for NZARES Symposium
"Irrigation, economics and the resilience of NZ Agriculture"
28 August 2015
The annual NZARES conference was replaced in 2015 with a 1-day symposium in Wellington due the AARES conference for 2015 being held in Rotorua in February. The symposium focused on irrigation issues in New Zealand as a topical issue given the emerging concerns over water allocations across agricultural, environmental, residential and commercial uses in addition to proposals for the construction of new schemes. The symposium had a strong attendance with representatives of regional councils, universities, consultants, Dairy NZ and others present.
The symposium featured 3 invited speakers: Dr John Bright (Aqualinc), Mr Con Williams (ANZ) and Associate Professor Sarah Wheeler (University of Adelaide). The topics discussed were quite broad including aspects of the finance of irrigation, forecasting for commodity demand and cost-of-production, engineering of irrigation schemes, markets for water rights and the decoupling of water and land property rights. Particular interest was taken in Mr William’s view on the future of agricultural production and prices for New Zealand farmers and in Associate Professor Wheeler’s thoughts on models for water right trading and the decoupling of water and land property rights.
All-in-all the symposium was an interesting and informative day which was, as always in New Zealand, well attended by all types of people interested in resource economics in New Zealand. The annual NZARES AGM completed the proceedings.