News release

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03 March 2012
Govt funds for multi-million freshwater clean-up

The Government is contributing nearly $8 million towards the clean-up of four of New Zealand’s most badly polluted rivers, lagoons and wetlands, Prime Minister John Key announced today.

“The Manawatu River, Wainono Lagoon in South Canterbury, the Wairarapa Moana wetlands and the Waituna Lagoon in Southland will benefit from the Fresh Start for Fresh Water Fund. The fund is provided out of an additional $15 million set aside in Budget 2011 to contribute to community efforts to tackle pollution originating from poor historic management,” Mr Key says.

The Manawatu River will receive $5.2 million from the fund, Wairarapa Moana $1 million, the Wainono Lagoon $800,000 and the Waituna Lagoon $780,000. The remainder of the funds for the clean-up projects will come from regional councils and other interested parties.

“I am pleased councils and communities are working hand-in-hand with the Government to be part of enduring solutions for the benefit of future generations.

“The clean-up of these nationally-significant freshwater bodies requires a major investment beyond the capacity of local councils or communities to meet on their own.

“These additional four projects build on initiatives already announced to clean up Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere, the Waikato River, Lake Taupo and the Rotorua Lakes.

“We have been making great progress on reforming freshwater management in New Zealand, using a collaborative approach,” Mr Key says.

“Eligibility for the fund also requires councils to have effective rules in place to prevent ongoing pollution. We want to see a move away from the kinds of decisions and activities that have caused problems in the past. As part of this, all councils must start setting limits for water quality and quantity under the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management the Government introduced last year.”

See also: Green Growth Report released and Further steps to improve NZ’s fresh water


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