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Foxton River Loop, one of NZ's long-forgotten environmental disasters, gets cash boost

One of the country's long forgotten man-made environmental disasters - the Foxton River Loop - got a cash boost from the Provincial Growth Fund today, 77 years after the disaster.

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The money from the Provincial Growth Fund comes 77 years after the disaster. Source: 1 NEWS

In 1943, botched earthworks to divert the Manawatu River choked off the river loop, depriving Foxton of its lifeblood.

A commission of inquiry found the Ministry of Works botched the job.

For decades, successive government's neglected to fix it.

The effects of the disaster are still being felt today, with a toxic mix of weeds, wastewater and bacteria in parts of the Manawatu River.

“In the past this was where people swam. Now what we've got is signs greeting us saying don’t touch the water,” Robin Hapi of Save Our River Trust told 1 NEWS.

However, today there was some hope, as the Government chipped in with $3.86 million from the Provincial Growth Fund.

The growth fund’s minister, Shane Jones, hopes to get even more for the clean-up project.

“Sadly, there will be more money required and I have encouraged the council and leadership of the community to approach David Parker,” he said.

Campaigners will at least be heartened at seeing a step towards Foxton's lifeblood being restored.