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Important next step in Rotorua lakes clean-up

12 August 2008 Media Statement

Important next step in Rotorua lakes clean-up

Environment Minister Trevor Mallard today signed a funding deed sealing the government’s $72.1 million commitment to restore the most degraded Rotorua lakes.

The Minister also handed over a symbolic cheque for $4.5 million, representing the government's contribution for the first 6 months of the programme.

“The Rotorua lakes are beautiful gems that the government wants to see restored to their former glory,” Trevor Mallard said.

This government funding, over the next ten years, recognises the importance of the restoration programme and the significance of the lakes to the people of Te Arawa, Rotorua and New Zealand.”

The government funding represents half of the $144.2 million cost for the priority lakes in the Rotorua Lakes Restoration Programme.

The other fifty per cent will be contributed by Rotorua District Council and Environment Bay of Plenty.

“Four of the most degraded lakes —Rotorua, Rotoiti, Okareka, and Rotoehu— require a range of interventions to improve water quality with an agreed ten year work programme with set targets and timeframes,” said Trevor Mallard.

“The staged interventions over the next 10 years will include reticulation of community sewage, interception and treatment or diversion of nutrient inflows to lakes, treating lake sediment and land use change to reduce nutrient leaching.

“I look forward to watching this important work progress and to seeing the lakes shine like the jewels that they are.”

Trevor Mallard signed the deed in Rotorua today with the Environment Bay of Plenty and Rotorua District Council in the presence of the Te Arawa Lakes Protection Trust.

Note for editors:

The government has provided funding since 2003 to improve Rotorua’s water quality. That has included evaluation work on the scope of Rotorua lakes’ problem, short term remedial work, community waste water upgrades, land user initiatives, and science and research.

ENDS

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