The Horizons Region has been successful in securing over $5.84 million from central government under the Freshwater Improvement Fund. This will contribute towards $12.3 million worth of projects over four catchments within Manawatū-Whanganui.
Horizons, in conjunction with territorial authorities, iwi, and landowners submitted five applications toward the fund in April this year. Four of these applications have been successful from a total of 33 projects throughout the country that will share $44 million from the fund collectively.
Horizons Chairman Bruce Gordon says three of these applications are for initiatives for the Manawatū River, Whangaehu River, and Lake Waipu, which Horizons will manage. The fourth successful application was made by the Lake Horowhenua Trust to further action lake improvement programmes on behalf of the Lake Horowhenua Accord partners.
“It’s really pleasing to have secured such a significant amount of funding for projects that will make direct improvements to the quality of freshwater in our Region,” says Mr Gordon.
“All of our applications that included upgrading wastewater discharges from water to land were successful, which is a positive step forward.”
The Manawatū River project will cost a total $7.24 million and include the upgrade of Tokomaru’s wastewater treatment plant to discharge to land, 250 kilometres of stream fencing, 200,000 riparian plants, 20 fish pass fixes, 45 community-led projects, Palmerston North City Council’s urban streams project, and matauranga Māori and cultural monitoring.
“As a member of the Manawatū River Leaders’ Forum, Horizons will contribute $1.96 million towards these projects. A further $2.3 million will come from Palmerston North City Council, Horowhenua District Council and landowners. The Ministry for the Environment’s (MfE) Freshwater Improvement Fund will cover the remaining $2.92 million, equating to 40 per cent of the project cost,” explains Mr Gordon.
The Ngā Wai Ora o te Whangaehu Freshwater Improvement project will cost $1.68 million, with $590,000 being contributed from MfE. This project will include 60 kilometres of stream fencing to prevent stock access, 12,000 riparian plants, 5 fish pass fixes, and 10 community-led restoration projects.
“We’re collaborating very closely with Ngāti Rangi iwi and landowners, who are providing a combined contribution of over $450,000 towards the Whangaehu River initiatives. Horizons have also committed over $450,000, with the Freshwater Improvement Fund covering $590,000,” says Mr Gordon.