Stage 2 construction has commenced in the area between the Selwyn and Waimakariri Rivers. Construction will be carried out by Downer New Zealand Limited and will service 20,000ha supplying pressurised water to the farm gates.

A key difference between Stages 1 and 2 is the Stage 2 use of a 23km-long large diameter (2.5m) Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) pipe, instead of continuing the canal, so that all infrastructure will be buried. This pipe is the largest used in irrigation in NZ to date. The GRP was manufactured in Adelaide, Australia and arrived in four shipments.

Around 220 construction and design staff will be working on the project with the site office being located at Darfield.

The Downer team will be laying around 200km of pipe between May 2017 and May 2018 working in with over 150 farming families along the way.

This pipe will connect to the Stage 1 Headrace Canal and provide water by a fully underground system. Total project costs for Stage 2 are expected to be close to $200 million.