Wanaka's freshwater fund confirmed; Otago Regional Council holds the purse
Environment Minister Nick Smith has confirmed a $385,000 grant from the Government's Freshwater Improvement Fund for an Upper Clutha water management project.
Smith had earlier announced Wanaka's native seed nursery, Te Kakano Aotearoa Trust, had won the bid, subject to further negotiation with the Ministry for the Environment.
He has now confirmed the fund would be held by the Otago Regional Council, on behalf of the Upper Clutha Water Group.
Te Kakano's community liaison and development officer Megan Williams, supported by the Upper Clutha Water Group, prepared the funding bid and is still involved in the project, along with other community stakeholders.
The group will develop projects to improve and maintain the long-term health of the wider Upper Clutha area including Lake Wanaka, Lake Hawea, and the Clutha and Cardrona Rivers.
It has three key streams of work: developing and managing a water management plan; restoring riparian margins in prioritised areas (led by Te Kakano); applied research into wanaka's stormwater quality and infrastructure (supported by the University of Otago research group Catchments Otago).
Regional council chief executive Peter Bodeker said the council was pleased to support and collaborate with the group in the various projects.
Upper Clutha Water Group spokeswoman Mandy Bell said the group was delighted to have the funding confirmed.
"The Upper Clutha Water Group and Te Kakano will further engage the community to develop an integrated water management plan supported by science," she said.
More can be learned about the project at an Otago Regional Council public meeting at the Lake Wanaka Centre on October 4 from 7pm.