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Govt backing for Waikato freshwater project

Amy Adams


Govt backing for Waikato freshwater project

Environment Minister Amy Adams today announced funding of $135,000 towards a project run by Waikato Regional Council to better understand and overcome the barriers farmers face in reducing contaminants running off their land into water ways.

“Achieving water quality limits and targets for fresh water in many areas depends on farmers changing management practices,” Ms Adams says.

“Understanding their difficulties and incentives is important in assessing how quickly farmers can change practices, how expensive it is for them and, therefore, what practices should be the focus of future policy.

“This project will lead to a better understanding of barriers and opportunities to changing farmer behaviour.

“It will provide useful information, especially in collaborative freshwater planning, by speeding up understanding by lay people of complex farm systems, behaviour change and nutrient management.”

The results of the project can be used by other regions to assist farmer practice change in their catchments.

“Water quality issues rely heavily on technical scientific input, but it’s important to remember that the social sciences have much to contribute in terms of helping communities understand and implement their freshwater objective and limits.

“Value judgements are very much a part of the decisions communities will need to make to improve water quality.”

The $135,000 in funding is from a round of the Government’s Community Environment Fund.

The funding round was aimed at activities that support key elements of the Government’s freshwater programme, including implementation of the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management and regional planning and community participation in freshwater management.

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