The Morven Glenavy Ikawai (“MGI”) Irrigation Company incorporates one of the oldest schemes in South Canterbury – the Redcliffs irrigation scheme was built by the government in the 1930s and the Morven Glenavy scheme was built in the 1970s. MGI purchased the two schemes from the Crown in 1989 and is now responsible for their full operation.
MGI has continued to grow and improve the irrigation scheme since 1989. By improving the efficiency of the system and various infrastructure upgrades, along with farmers continuing to convert from border-dyke to spray irrigation, the availability of water has been increased and used to irrigate more land. These days MGI is responsible for supplying water to 28,000 hectares of farmland.
The most recent area of growth is the 3,300 hectare area comprising Waihao Downs Irrigation, a 100% owned subsidiary of MGI. This pumped scheme was designed and constructed by Rooney Earthmoving Limited and completed about 12-months ahead of schedule. Waihao Downs was commissioned between April and May 2016.
MGI is a leader in the New Zealand irrigation sector and at the forefront of scheme performance and environmental management. MGI has a comprehensive audited self-management system, and the scheme also seeks to improve environmental values in its command area by augmenting flows in the Waihao River, which flows into the Wainono Lagoon.
MGI has an office and depot facility based in Glenavy.
A comprehensive history of the Morven Glenavy Ikawai Irrigation scheme is available from our publication “Water Gives Life”.