Funding applications for clean up of Waikato River top $50 million

Applications to the Waikato River Authority for funding of projects that clean up the Waikato River have totalled approximately $56.5 million.

The Waikato River Authority is allocating $6 million in its first year of funding.

There are a total of 115 applications from a wide variety of groups and organisations with a diverse range of projects. Forty-four of the projects are seeking amounts less than $50,000.

Applications to the Waikato River Authority for the first funding round closed on Friday (16 December 2011).

The Authority is a co-governance body established between the Crown and Waikato River Iwi to restore the Waikato River. It is co-chaired by Mr Tukoroirangi Morgan and the Hon John Luxton.

The co-chairs say they are pleased and encouraged by the quality of the applications and the overall response from a wide range of organisations wanting to partner with the Authority to clean up the river.

Tukoroirangi Morgan says it is gratifying to see, even in the early stages of reviewing the applications, that there is a strong calibre of projects represented in all of the Authority’s six priority areas.

Hon John Luxton says it will be an extremely difficult job for the Trustees, especially in this first year, to decide where the funds will be allocated. “Clearly there is a massive over subscription for the funds this year and it maybe that some of the projects can be funded in future years. Nevertheless we are going to be faced with a difficult task.”

Total funds being sought currently stands at $56,531,249.

Waikato River Authority Interim secretary, Bob Penter, says it is possible there are a small handful of applications still to be received by the Authority.

“Unfortunately there was a telecommunications fault outside the control of the Authority on Friday afternoon which meant some electronic applications were not received. We are currently checking with a small number of applicants to ensure there are no applications missing.”

The Authority expects to make decisions on applications for projects under $50,000 before the end of February next year with decisions on the larger projects before the end of May.

The Authority’s region for funding includes the Waikato River and its catchment from Huka Falls through to Port Waikato. It also includes the lower part of the Waipa River below the junction with the Puniu River (near Pirongia).

The government has committed $210 million over the next 30 years to ensure the Authority has the resources it needs to protect the Waikato River from further degradation.

More information about the Waikato River Authority is available on it’s website .

For more information contact:
Bob Penter
Interim Secretary
Waikato River Authority
Ph: 0212 456359

This media item was current at its release date. The facts or figures it contains may have changed since its original publication.