Freshwater Funding Announcement

By Anne Gummer

On Sunday, Eryn from the Million Metres team headed up to Whangārei for the Government’s announcement on funding for community-led, freshwater improvement initiatives in the Northland region.

Jacinda Ardern announced that the Kaipara Harbour catchment will be the first focus for the Government’s $12 million clean waterways fund.

Actions in Kaipara will include simple solutions such as:

  • riparian planting, and wetland preservation and development
  • fencing  streams to prevent livestock trampling at waterway margins
  • using the best science to locate sediment hotspots and measure sediment flows

Million Metres is involved in waterway restoration in Northland through the Waimā Waitai Waiora partnership. Together partners are working to improve water quality in the Northern Wairoa River and the Kaipara Harbour into which it flows.

Last year the group crowdfunded $60,000 through the Million Metres platform which has resulted in 100,000 trees being planted along 15km of waterway in the Kaipara catchment. You can read more about the project here.

A new stage of fundraising for the multi-year project to restore the Northern Wairoa will be launched on the Million Metres website in the coming weeks. Individuals and businesses around the country will be able to support the project by donating through the Million Metres website.

At the announcement David Parker said “Volunteers, iwi, local government, farmers and school students are all working together to improve the quality of the water flowing into the Kaipara harbour,”

“Those lessons from ‘exemplar’ catchments like Kaipara will be passed on to others. Further exemplar catchments will be identified in coming months.”

Further measures will be rolled out over coming months as the Government moves to implement its Essential Freshwater plan. This plan will:

  • set clearer and stronger national direction for councils on freshwater standards
  • put in place measures to improve land use such as controlling poor winter grazing practices
  • provide guidance on the preservation of precious natural resources such as remaining wetlands and streams.