On July 1st 2014, the merger of the eight Opuha entities into one company was implemented. The key objectives of the merger were to create a simple structure whereby the irrigators all had a shareholding directly in the dam and a new water supply agreement that was appropriate for the new regulatory environment.
There were three separate irrigation companies in the previous structure – Totara Valley and Kakahu had both been developed since the construction of the Opuha Dam in 1998 and Levels Plain had been constructed in the 1930’s. These three companies have now all been merged with Opuha Water Ltd that was previously contracted to operate and manage the three schemes.
The new Opuha Water Ltd has been set up as a co-operative company with a new constitution. The merger will realise some cost savings – mainly through the consolidation and centralisation of administrative functions – and a new Board will be elected at the new company’s first AGM in November 2014.