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Collaborative Projects Dominate Funding For River Restoration

The Waikato River Authority has completed its 2022 funding round awarding $5.7 million to 26 projects.

Successful projects include a high level of collaboration between iwi, landowners, restoration groups and large organisations.

  • The largest project to be funded this year is $1.3 million for stage 2 of the Ngā Wai o Waikato project, which is a continuation of work in the north Waikato area. This is a joint approach between Waikato Regional Council, Waikato-Tainui, Ministry for Primary Industries and landowners which will target high sediment producing catchments for restoration and improvement.
  • A project to re-establish Raukawa iwi cultural relationship with the Waikato River has also received funding. The project will see a waka launching site constructed near the Waipapa Dam (providing the only safe access to that section of the river) and to create a modern tūāhu, a sacred area for karakia and waiata.
  • The Pokaiwhenua Catchment Group, based near Putaruru, has received nearly a $100,000 to work with multiple landowners on reducing sediment and nutrient inputs into waterways. The project involves fencing, plantings and the retirement of grazing land.
  • A project to retrieve foreign objects dumped in the Waikato River in and around Hamilton has received $250,000. Deep Dive Division will work at seven river locations from Narrows Landing, through Hamilton city to Ngāruawahia retrieving dumped items.

Waikato River Authority co-chair Tipa Mahuta says the high level of collaboration evident in many of the funded projects is a positive outcome for the future health and wellbeing of the awa. “We’ve always said that no one group, or individual can achieve what needs to be done for the river on their own. We are now seeing more working together which is what we need for success”.

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Co-chair Paula Southgate says the project to retrieve dumped items from the river in a populated area through Hamilton city will be a highly visible clean-up action. “Not only will this make a tangible difference to the awa, but it will hopefully galvanise even more public care and support for our river when this very obvious pollution is seen.”

A full list of funded projects will be available on the Waikato River Authority website www.waikatoriver.org.nz .

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