Govt invests $540,000 in Lake Horowhenua clean-up

Environment

Environment Minister Amy Adams has today announced the Government will invest $540,000 towards cleaning up Lake Horowhenua.

Combined with funding from Horizon’s Regional Council and Horowhenua District Council, as well as in-kind contributions from Dairy NZ and the Tararua Growers’ Association, the total funding for the project will be $1.27 million.

The project will improve the water quality through sediment and nutrient management on the lake and its tributaries, improving water quality for recreation and wild life.

The project includes stream fencing, planting, building a wetland, harvesting lake weeds, and developing farm plans.

Native fish populations and habitats will benefit from a fish pass and restoration work to improve the link between the lake and the sea.

A new boat wash facility in Levin will help reduce the risk of transfer of weed into the lake, and new storm water treatment systems will reduce sediment inflows from Levin.

“I am confident that the project will help bring the lake back to an acceptable state over time. Significant monitoring of the lake water quality is now in place, and strict resource consent conditions will control nutrients,” Ms Adams says.

The project showed the benefits of collaboration in addressing long-standing problems around water quality.

“It is to the credit of local farmers that they accept the need for limits on nutrient discharges for environmental reasons, even though one of the major factors in the lake’s degradation is due to the discharge of treated sewage up until the 1980s.

“It is encouraging to see industry groups and farmers increasing innovation and investment to reduce their environmental impact.”

This is the seventh nationally-significant project to be supported by the $15m Fresh Start for Fresh Water Clean-Up Fund set up in 2011.

The others are Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere, Manawatu River, Wairarapa Moana, Wainono Lagoon, Waituna Lagoon and Lake Brunner.