New Government funding will bring together landholders, iwi and hapū, and others in the wider community to improve stream health in the Waikawa catchment, in the Manawatu-Wanganui region.
Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced that a $170,000 grant from Government’s Community Environment Fund would contribute to the Waikawa Stream Community Catchment Project. Others are contributing $90,000 - Horizons Regional Council ($45,000), Landcare Trust New Zealand ($30,000) and landholders ($15,000).
The Waikawa catchment stretches from the Tararua Ranges to the coast at Waikawa, north of Otaki. It is a priority catchment in the Horizons Regional Council’s planning document for the region.
“We want healthy rivers throughout New Zealand. Agriculture in the catchment is adding pressure to an already vulnerable river, e-coli levels in the lower catchment are high, and there is a risk of water quality continuing to decline unless change occurs,” Eugenie Sage said.
“Landcare Trust New Zealand is bringing together landholders, community members, and stakeholders to work with the regional council to help promote more sustainable land use and improve the health of streams in the catchment. The Government through the Ministry for the Environment is happy to back this approach.
“The project involves establishing three demonstration sites on Waikawa Stream by 2021 to highlight current good management practices for stock exclusion, erosion control and riparian planting.
“At the same time the Landcare Trust will work with several educational organisations to conduct stream monitoring and work with iwi and hapū to develop a strategy and action plan.
“This collaboration is bringing together different perspectives and uniting the community behind a common goal of a clean and healthy river,” Eugenie Sage said.
Land use on hill country in the catchment includes sheep and beef farming and forestry while lowland flats are used for horticulture and dairy farming, and grazing occurs on sandy country closer to the coast.
Information about water quality in the Waikawa catchment is here https://www.lawa.org.nz/explore-data/manawatu-wanganui-region/river-qual...
The Government’s Community Environment Fund supports projects that strengthen environmental partnerships, raise environmental awareness and encourage participation in environmental initiatives in the community. The Fund is administered by the Ministry for the Environment and has provided $10 million to more than 90 projects since 2010.
For more information about the Community Environment Fund visit http://www.mfe.govt.nz/more/funding/community-environment-fund