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Taieri project a model for partnerships

17 March 2004 Media Statement

Taieri project a model for partnerships

International interest in the Taieri catchment project shows community partnerships are the best model for resolving environmental issues both here and overseas, Environment Minister Marian Hobbs said today.

The Dunedin based Taieri project is an alliance between community groups, researchers and authorities to improve the health of the Taieri River and has been supported by the Ministry for the Environment’s Sustainable Management Fund since 2001.

Marian Hobbs said the project was a model for bringing people together.

"The Taieri approach to catchment management is unique," the minister said. "Ultimately, the project's success is due to the people involved and the work that they have done. They deserve to be congratulated."

Water quality and quantity are increasing issues in the catchment. The Taieri is New Zealand's third longest river and has the most diverse catchment in the country.

The Trust's success in bringing together diverse community interests to work on water quality has attracted praise from within New Zealand and recognition from universities in the United States and Germany.

"The Taieri Alliance has broken down barriers between different groups and united people in an exemplary way," Marian Hobbs said. "I am also thrilled by the way the value of the project has gone beyond the boundaries of the Taieri catchment as the lessons learned by those involved have been passed on to other communities throughout New Zealand and, increasingly, overseas as well."

The project had received outstanding support from the broader community.

"The role of organisations such as Otago University, the Otago Regional Council, and Fish and Game New Zealand, through to regional Conservation Department staff, has been truly outstanding," Marian Hobbs said. "We couldn't have asked for more."


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