Media Release – 16 October 2018

Strong iwi involvement in river clean-up projects

The Waikato River Authority has announced $6 million for river clean-up projects in its just completed funding round, with more than a third of these projects being iwi led.

Overall, a total of 38 projects have been funded in 2018.

Authority Chief Executive, Bob Penter, says a feature of the funding round has been a close alignment with the Restoration Strategy for the Waikato and Waipā rivers and the strong participation of river iwi.

“In recent years there has been a clear trend for successful projects to reflect a strategic approach to restoring and protecting our rivers, streams and wetlands. This has carried through in this funding round. The strong involvement of river iwi is also welcome,” says Mr Penter.

The largest project to be funded this year is a continuation of the Waipā Catchment Plan implementation which will involve working with approximately 70 farmers and landowners within identified priority catchments. The $1.6 million of funding will work towards reducing sediment levels going into the Waipā River and its tributaries. Sediment from the Waipā River is a major factor in reducing the water quality in the lower Waikato River.

Te Arawa River Iwi Trust has received funding of $250,000 for a catchment monitoring project in the Ruahuwai Takiwa within the TARIT Upper Waikato River rohe. TARIT will be working with a number of technology partners in the development of the catchment monitoring system and will be implementing leading-edge technologies including real time water quality sensors.

A project to study the effectiveness of the ‘trap and transfer’ of tuna (eel) species through flood and drainage control systems is also being funded.

The project seeks to compare a downstream trap and transfer programme with other options required to enable safe fish passage at pump station sites. A successful transfer programme will maximise downstream migration of breeding adults and provide access to upstream habitat for juveniles.The project is receiving $110,000.

In the past eight years of funding the Waikato River Authority has allocated more than $44 million to 288 clean-up projects.