Steve’s practical approach and experience in dealing with landowners and the MDC assisted in bringing the Southern Valley Irrigation Scheme to a successful conclusion.
The Southern Valley Irrigation Scheme is a council-owned, pressurised, reticulated water scheme supplying 5000 hectares of rural land in the Ben Morven, Fairhall, Omaka, Hawkesbury and Brancott Valleys.
The scheme was commissioned in 2006, and as the face of the scheme, Steve acted as community liaison between the Marlborough District Council and the 400 affected landowners. He organised several one-on-one and community meetings to discuss the scheme and its delivery, the costs, risks, advantages and disadvantages, and the landowners’ concerns. Once they had sufficient support and construction had begun, Steve was the link between the contractors and landowners, keeping everyone in the loop with progress.
The scheme was ultimately built with majority community buy in, enabling landowners to increase the earning-potential of their land.