More direction signaled for next round of river clean-up projects

The Waikato River Authority has announced the opening date for its 4th funding round of river clean-up projects and is signaling more direction on its priorities.The funding round will open on 1 July this year with a closing date of 29 August.

As part of its funding process, the Waikato River Authority carries out an annual review of its Funding Strategy that is published before each funding round. This year the Strategy is being updated with more direction and guidance for potential applicants.
Waikato River Authority co-chairs Tukoroirangi Morgan and Hon John Luxton say the Authority believes it is timely to set tighter priorities in regard to clean-up projects.“We’ve been pleased to support a wide range of projects in our first three years of funding, but we now wish to become more focused and provide more direction to funding applicants.”

Among the areas the Authority is likely to give prominence to as part of the review of the Strategy include:

·      Water Quality – A greater emphasis on wetland projects and those that deliver a direct and tangible improvement in river water quality.
·      A Co-ordinated Approach – Projects that form part of multi year strategic plans by applicants and that have links to other catchment projects.
·      Lower Waikato and Waipa – Projects that impact positively and directly on the Waipa River and lower Waikato River, which are the areas where the water quality is most degraded.

In past years the Waikato River Authority has had between $6 million and $7 million available for Waikato River clean-up projects. It is expected that a similar amount will again be available for the coming round.

Information on the 2014 Waikato River Authority funding process will be available on www.waikatoriver.org.nz/funding 

The Authority’s three previous funding rounds have resulted in a total funding allocation of $16 million across 110 projects. Many of these have been completed or are multi-year projects.

The Waikato River Authority strongly advocates for an integrated and cohesive approach for clean-up activities across the river catchment. The Authority believes a coordinated effort will see a much more optimistic outcome for the river.

The Authority is a co-governance body established between the Crown and Waikato River iwi to restore and protect the Waikato River. The Authority covers a catchment area of 11,000 square kilometres for New Zealand's longest river. Over the next 26 years the Authority will administer $250 million to support the achievement of its purpose.

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For further information contact:

Philip Burton, Communication Advisor, Waikato River Authority

021 428748 or 07 8397966