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Central Plains Water Trust Signals Share Issue

16 September 2004

Central Plains Water Trust announced today that proposals for a community water enhancement scheme will move forward under a company structure, which will seek investment from farmers.

 Central Plains Water Limited has been formed by the Central Plains Water Trust to fund the resource consent process for the proposed surface water scheme between the Rakaia and the Waimakariri Rivers. Central Plains Water Limited intends to issue a prospectus and investment statement to farmers and other interested parties to raise the necessary funds.

Christchurch investment banker Brian Kreft will manage and facilitate the share issue.
Announcing the appointment of  Mr Kreft, Central Plains Water Trust chairman Doug Marsh said the new company will give the Canterbury farming community the opportunity to provide tangible support to the scheme proposals.
"We are delighted Brian has agreed to oversee the Central Plains Water Limited share issue. Brian is an experienced investment banker who understands the commercial perspective of the farming community. We believe that a strong case for investment can be made to farmers and we are confident they will respond positively," said Mr Marsh.

Mr Kreft has been involved in the corporate sector of the New Zealand equities market for the last 27 years, specialising in structuring company listings on the New Zealand Stock Exchange, the raising of capital, advising on takeovers and company structuring generally.

He said he is excited to be involved with the project, which has benefited from the tremendous amount of work already carried out by the Trust and others.

"My function, over the next two months, is to co-ordinate the raising of the necessary capital from farmers and other interested parties in order to fund the resource consenting process.

"There is still further preparation necessary and a number of outstanding issues to be resolved to satisfactorily structure a prospectus and investment statement, together with other associated background information. It is anticipated the prospectus and investment statement will be available to farmers and other investors early in November," said Mr Kreft.

The Central Plains Water Trust proposals are for a water enhancement scheme between the Rakaia and Waimakariri Rivers in Central Canterbury, providing water for irrigation while enhancing ecological and recreational values.  Scheme proposals are based on a storage reservoir in the Malvern Hills and takes from each river to provide water for irrigation to an area of the Selwyn District approximately between State Highway One and the foothills.

To date development of proposals has been funded by Selwyn District and Christchurch City Councils, the Community Trust and Agmardt. Funding has also been received from the MAF Sustainable Farming Fund, the Canterbury Economic Development Fund and a group of investors facilitated by the Ritso Society, which was established by farmers and community leaders in the area where irrigation will be provided from the scheme.

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