WET welcomes Fonterra funding for Lake Ellesmere restoration
WET welcomes Fonterra funding for Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere restoration
The Waihora Ellesmere Trust has welcomed the inclusion of Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere among the five key waterways that are targeted for multi-million dollar funding to improve their natural habitat in the next ten years. The $20 million partnership announced on March 7th between Fonterra and the Department of Conservation is part of Fonterra’s Living Water Initiative.
“This is a clear signal of the change in attitude that we have seen evident in the dairy industry in recent years. The majority of dairy farmers want high quality freshwater and realise that their activities can significantly degrade water. The problem has been how to farm in a way that is both environmentally and commercially sustainable and I don’t envy them the challenges they face”, says Hamish Rennie, Chair of the Waihora Ellesmere Trust.
“We would expect that significant funding will be made available for the Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere catchment and that it will complement, not replace, funding announced in 2011for lake restoration. We do not expect this to be a subsidy for farmers; they will still need to find funds to ensure they operate within plan rules and resource consent requirements. But the Fonterra/DOC partnership helps to provide that little bit extra to tip the balance in the direction of improved natural habitats and improved waterways.”
“It sounds a lot of money, but it is a drop in the Lake compared to what is needed to make significant improvements to water quality and natural habitats.”
“As a community group with over ten years’ experience working to restore the valuable natural qualities of the Lake, we look forward to working with DOC and Fonterra to make sure the funding is used effectively”, said Dr Rennie.