The Government has announced plans today to clean up the Kaipara estuary, as part of its Wellbeing Budget commitment into addressing the country’s waterways.
Kaipara is the largest estuary in New Zealand and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it is clogged with sediment and mangroves.
"The direction of travel is clear, we need to reduce the pollution – nitrogen, sediment, E.coli and other contaminants – from flowing through our cities and farms and into our waterways," she said.
The Government is investing $12 million to help improve catchments, with a share going to Kaipara.
It’s part of the Government’s pledge of $229 million to improve land use and waterways.
Minister for Environment, David Parker, said the Government was working with the community to help understand what can make the greatest difference and then what interventions to take, such as where to build and restore wetlands, or where more hillside planting is required to stabilise steep land, as part of this new nationwide programme.
“Volunteers, iwi, local government, farmers and school students are all working together to improve the quality of the water flowing into the Kaipara harbour," he said.
"Those lessons from ‘exemplar’ catchments like Kaipara will be passed on to others. Further exemplar catchments will be identified in coming months.
"Other government initiatives and funds were also part of the mix including 1 Billion Trees, the Provincial Growth Fund and the Freshwater improvement fund," Mr Parker said.
Actions in Kaipara will include simple solutions such as:
- Riparian planting, and wetland preservation and development
- Fencing streams to prevent livestock trampling at waterway margins
- Using the best science to locate sediment hotspots and measure sediment flows