Minister welcomes Manawatu River clean-up progressEnvironment
Environment Minister Amy Adams has welcomed a new report on cleaning-up the Manawatu River, saying it shows that progress can be made even on the most difficult environmental problems when communities work together.
“It is still early days as far as the time frames for cleaning up polluted water ways are concerned, but I am pleased to see the Manawatu Leaders Accord reporting overall improving trends in nutrient levels and levels of bacteria in the Manawatu River,” Ms Adams says.
“The Government regards its $5.2 million investment in cleaning up this river as well worthwhile. By working together, we can achieve far more than leaving it to one group or organisation.
“This is why I am enthusiastic about central government partnering with iwi, local government, and farming, industry and environmental groups who make up the Accord.”
The project received support from the Government’s Fresh Start for Freshwater Fund in 2011. This funding was targeted at a suite of eight projects for the river, including riparian planting and stream fencing, restoring fish and whitebait habitats, management plans for dairy farms, and upgrading sewerage treatment plants.
“Improving the condition of the Manawatu River is a long-term project. Its current state is the result of a variety of activities over many decades so it is going to take multi-pronged, co-ordinated and long-term action to fix it.
“This is why collaboration and community partnerships are key criteria for the seven projects the Government is supporting as part of the $15 million Fresh Start for Fresh Water Clean-Up Fund.”
The other projects are: Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere ($6m), Wairarapa Moana ($1m), Wainono Lagoon ($800,000), Waituna Lagoon ($785,000), Lake Horowhenua ($540,000), Lake Brunner ($200,000).
“This is a small but vital part of the approximately $350 million the Government has committed to protecting and improving New Zealand’s fresh water quality.
“Our economy and our way of life rely on access to plentiful, clean fresh water. I am confident New Zealanders in all regions are willing to work together to fix the mistakes of the past, and use our water better for the future.”