Media Release – 24 August 2018

Larger projects proposed in river clean-up

The Waikato River Authority’s eighth funding round has closed with a number of larger projects proposed for river clean-up.

More than $8 million has been applied for from 45 project applications. Two applications are over $1 million and two others for more than $500,000.

Waikato River Authority Chief Executive, Bob Penter, says the proportion of larger projects seeking funding support appears to be on the increase, combined with an overall more strategic focus from applicants.

“From first reading of the applications it seems as though we are getting far greater alignment with strategic priorities which have been identified through the Restoration Strategy for the river and catchment. It is also encouraging to see the increasing level of groups and organisations working together,” says Mr Penter.

The value of projects being proposed in the granting round is in excess of $17 million with the funding sought from the Authority less than half this amount.  “We have always emphasized the need for our funding dollar go as far as possible by having co-funding from funding recipients. After eight years it is pleasing to see the wider community match or better the Authority’s contribution to these important projects.  

The Authority has this year allocated up to $6 million for clean-up projects.

Among the areas the Authority has signaled it will be giving increased priority to this year include:

  • Restoration Strategy: Projects that have been identified as important in the Restoration Strategy will be given funding priority.
  • Partnerships: A greater level of support for applications that involve strong partnerships and that have the ability to deliver significant outcomes from larger projects.
  • Iwi Engagement: There will be an increased focus on bigger projects that incorporate iwi in the project delivery.

The projects seeking funding will now under-go a technical evaluation process from an advisory panel with the final funding decisions made by the Authority and announced in November.

In the past seven years of funding, the Waikato River Authority has allocated  $38 million to 250 projects.