In 2017 the Manawatū River Leaders’ Forum successfully bid to central government’s Freshwater Improvement Fund for $2.9 million.

This complements over $5 million in contributions made by Horizons Regional Council, Horowhenua and Manawatū District Councils, Palmerston North City Council, and landowners for a total of $8 million over five years.

The Freshwater Improvement Fund project delivered a series of actions over a period of five years to address water issues within the Manawatū catchment as part of the Manawatū Awa Freshwater Improvement Project.

This funding has allowed for greater community engagement and involvement in freshwater management, increasing community awareness and leading to a faster rate of implementation of works within the catchment.

Action Benefits Target Achieved
Stream fencing Excludes stock and improved aquatic 250km 303.45km
Riparian planting Creates riparian buffers for sediment reduction, erosion control and habitat enhancement 200,000 plants 427,807 plants
Fish passage remediation Encourages a wider range of native fish species and increased habitat for spawning Removal of 20 fish passage barriers Removal of 23 fish passage barriers
Community projects Sharing knowledge and expertise with a wider range of people to improve water quality 45 grants 50 grants
Tokomaru Wastewater Treatment Upgrade Improve water quality with discharge to land rather than water Discharge to land This project is ongoing. Horowhenua District Council now working directly with MfE to progress
Iwi environmental management plans Development of resources, identify and prioritise issues specific to rohe 4 iwi environmental management plans developed 4 iwi environmental management plans developed, with at least one already started on implementation
Urban streams Improving access to and engagement with the Manawatū River in Palmerston North Increase engagement with the Manawatū River from Palmerston North residents Community planting days

Urban Eels platform

Turitea Stream footbridge

The full project closure report can be found here.

While funding via the Freshwater Improvement Fund for community projects is no longer available, contact Horizons Regional Council on freephone 0508 800 800 to find out about other possible funding opportunities.