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KMR And Wai Connection To Sign MOU …celebrating World Water Day (March 22) Together

Two highly respected environmental programmes are joining forces to boost and fast-track efforts to restore the mauri of Auckland and Northland waterways flowing into the Kaipara Harbour.

The announcement comes on the eve of World Water Day 2024 (March 22), where the theme is ‘water for peace’.

Kaipara Moana Remediation programme and Mountain to Sea Conservation Trust’s Wai Connection programme are finalising a partnership to better nurture the health of water in the Kaipara Moana catchment.

Both programmes have already worked together on community planting days alongside waterways in Paparoa and Parakai, and a soon to be signed Memorandum of Understanding will formalise efforts towards more collaborations around boosting waterway health in the Kaipara Moana.

The programmes already provide complementary backing for community groups, with Wai Connection supporting them at an earlier stage of their formation and development, while KMR co-invests in sediment remediation projects once groups are operational.

KMR Pou Tātaki Justine Daw and MTSCT Kim Jones – Poutokomanawa/Co-Director - Freshwater Lead – both agree that water is life and we all have an obligation to care for our waterways.

“Kaipara Moana Remediation and Wai Connection aim to bring people together in a common cause to protect and restore local waterways that are important to them. Ultimately, our projects help grow community connectivity, resilience and an appreciation that water is essential for our wellbeing in so many ways.”

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The partnership aims to increase and accelerate support for both emerging and established community and catchment groups in the Kaipara Moana catchment, and better connect them to funding support for sediment reduction projects that protect and restore the mauri of local waterways.

“New Zealand communities care passionately about their local waterways and there’s a strong call for support to build understanding of catchment issues, through localised support and funding to take action on the ground,” the pair say.

“I believe this partnership will result in earlier and more comprehensive reductions of sediment into the Kaipara Moana. KMR is already working with over 50 groups across the catchment. Since we began, a new group has joined KMR every fortnight on average,” says Justine.

“It will also create a greater understanding across the community of the benefits of taking action to protect local waterways.”

Kim says KMR and Wai Connection can build on their strong, existing networks in Auckland and Northland.

“The important aspect of this MOU is the fact two organisations with common goals are working together in the freshwater space for the good of our communities and the environment,” says Kim.

“We are both focused on community engagement and connecting people in targeted catchment restoration and freshwater remediation, enabled by good science.”

Together, KMR and Wai Connection will help groups in the Kaipara Moana catchment identify issues in their local catchment area and find local solutions to them by providing advice, planning and grants for sediment remediation projects near waterways.

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Editors’ Note:

Wai Connection/Tatai Ki Te Wai’ is a Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust (MTSCT) community catchment group engagement project, co-funded through the Essential Freshwater Fund until June 2025.

The project aims to empower community catchment groups by providing knowledge, tools and expert support to help identify issues in their local catchment area, connect people with their waterway and enable collaboration between local catchment groups, NGOs, iwi, hapū, regional councils, central government agencies, landowners and primary industry working in the catchment.

MTSCT has a twenty-year track record of supporting communities across 15 regions to achieve marine and freshwater conservation through science-based experiential programmes, tailored resources, and community engagement.

Kaipara Moana Remediation (KMR) is a ten-year programme which invests in projects with the long term aim of halving sediment flows into the Kaipara Moana.

As Aotearoa's largest harbour restoration programme, genuine partnership is key to protecting waterways and erosion-prone land across a 6,000km2 catchment, while as a Jobs for Nature programme, KMR also supports local, nature-based employment, training, and accreditation.

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