The Manawatū River Leaders’ Accord has awarded approximately $89,000 in grants to nine community groups for freshwater improvement projects throughout the Manawatū Catchment.
The Manawatū River Leaders’ Accord runs a contestable community funding programme once a year with the support of Horizons Regional Council. In 2018 the fund was expanded with help from the Manawatū District Council and the Ministry for the Environment, through the Freshwater Improvement Fund.
Horizons group manager natural resources and partnerships Dr Jon Roygard says the grants aim to assist non-profit organisations such as community groups, schools, catchment care groups and iwi/hapū with projects that will help increase engagement with Manawatū catchment waterways and improve water quality.
One of the projects which has received a grant for the third year running is the Manawatū River Road enhancement and access – phase 3, which is a jointly-run project between Te KauruHapū Collective and farmers Blair and Penelope Drysdale located near Norsewood. The grant is being used to plant and enhance the Manawatū River near its source and enable public access to the stream for community and school groups.
Te Kauru Hapū Collective project administrator and coordinator Arapera Paewai says this has been a really special project which has brought together the whole community.
“So far we have planted more than 10,000 plants and done two sessions with Norsewood and Districts School about the awa and local fish life,” says Ms Paewai.
“The banks of the awa were infested with blackberry, broom and cotoneaster, of which we have cleared 4 – 5 kilometres. There is a completely different atmosphere around the awa now with the community, hapū and schools able to park and walk down to explore, do water monitoring and reconnect with their awa.”
Other groups to receive funding were:
- Plastic Pollution – phase 2
Environment Network Manawatū on behalf of Manawatū River, Source to Sea are completing the second year of funding to help facilitate sampling within the Manawatū, Tararua and, potentially, Horowhenua Urban Streams.
- Save our Native fish – Buckley Golf Club (Shannon)
To undertake fencing and planting along a small tributary to the Mangaore Stream, where native fish, including eels, īnanga and banded kōkopu have been found.