Government pledges $44m to clean up New Zealand's dirty lakes and rivers

The government has pledged $44 million to clean up 100 dirty lakes and rivers.

The PM says he’s 'not surprised' about a new report showing an increase in pollution in our waterways. Source: 1 NEWS

Prime Minister Bill English and Environment Minister Nick Smith made the announcement today. Labour's expected to announce their water policy tomorrow, with an expected charge for commercial users.

Wairoa River in Northland, Lake Whangape in the Waikato and Lake Tarawera in the Bay of Plenty will benefit, as will the Manawatu River and Lake Horowhenua, Lake Onoke in Wellington, the Waimea River in Tasman, the Selwyn River in Canterbury, Lake Wanaka in Otago and Te Waituna lagoon in Southland.

The cash will fund the fencing of waterways from farm animals, planting along streams, development of wetlands, sewage reticulation and water storage.

Projects will also tackle water weeds and remove pest fish.

The money came from a $100 million fund set-up by the Government last year.