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Lake Horowhenua restoration receives $1.27 million boost

Lake Horowhenua restoration receives $1.27 million boost

Work to clean up Lake Horowhenua has received a $1.27 million cash injection.

Environment Minister Hon Amy Adams has announced that $540,000 from central government's  Fresh Water Clean-Up Fund will be put towards the restoration of Lake Horowhenua, complementing $730,500 of funding from Horizons Regional Council, Horowhenua District Council and industry.

Eight key projects were selected for the funding, based on work carried out by Horizons’ scientists, alongside the National Institute for Atmospheric Research (NIWA) and Waikato University.

The projects are designed to improve the suitability of the lake for recreational use, reduce the inputs of sediment and nutrients into the lake and to improve native fish populations in the lake.  The clean-up fund project is one part of the work being carried out by the Lake Horowhenua Accord partners.

Horizons will undertake overall project management of the clean-up fund project and will lead the delivery of six of the projects, while Horowhenua District Council will deliver the remaining two.

The eight projects are;

• Purchase and operation of lake weed harvesting equipment

• Provision of a boat wash facility in Levin township

• Riparian fencing and planting

• Installing stormwater treatment systems

• Installing a sediment trap/treatment wetland on the Arawhata inflow to the lake

• Creating integrated drainage and sediment control plans for up to 500 ha of cropping farms

• Preparing sustainable milk production plans for dairy farms in the catchment

• Improving habitat for native fish and installing a fish pass to improve access to the lake for native fish


Minister Adams says the Government understands the importance of Lake Horowhenua and recognises the strong collaboration dedicated to the lake's restoration, as well as the buy-in from the community.

"This signals the beginning of a whole new era for the lake and returning its health to where it should be."

Horowhenua Mayor Brendan Duffy says the funding  shows real commitment and support towards the united project to restore Lake Horowhenua.

"Everyone is on the same page with this. We all know the real need to halt the degradation and put in place remedial measures to gradually return the lake so it can regain pride of place in the Horowhenua community. This funding brings us another step closer to a fantastic outcome."

Horowhenua Lake Accord chairman Matt Sword says the funding announcement certainly shows high level support for the lake's restoration.

"This is a day of celebration," he said.

"Lake Horowhenua is a beautiful lake with an amazing history and very significant to us all. It's time to move beyond grievances and to look and move forward."

Horizons chairperson Bruce Gordon acknowledged the involvement of a number of parties in producing the funding application.

“To receive this level of funding is significant and it is important to recognise the Accord partners and associated groups such as the Tararua Growers Association and Dairy NZ who have collaboratively worked together in support of the application,” he said.

Mr Gordon said that the projects undertaken as part of the fresh water clean-up fund package are only one part of a wider clean-up strategy which is led by the Lake Horowhenua Accord partners.

“This is just one step in the process and we will continue to work with the Accord partners to restore the lake to its former healthy state,”

“Lake Horowhenua is a valuable asset for our Region, not only recreationally but also culturally and economically. As the Lake is restored it will once again become a key part of our community and a place that we can be proud of.”

The expectation is that a number of the actions will be carried out this year so the positive effects can start to be seen by next summer.

ENDS

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