$1.9m for water care project to help ‘inform’ other catchments

Thomsons Creek Wetland. Omakau is in the background. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
Thomsons Creek Wetland. Omakau is in the background. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
A Central Otago catchment is leading the way in water care, with the help of recently announced government funding.

In Omakau yesterday, Associate Environment Minister Andrew Hoggard announced $1.9 million would go towards the Manuherekia Catchment Group, against the backdrop of the Thomsons Creek Wetland, the group’s flagship project.

Mr Hoggard said the catchment would advise water care work around the country.

"There’s a huge number of catchment care groups that are up and running around the country, by and large with [volunteers]."

"[The funding] helps inform these other catchments — they don’t have to go through the trials and tribulations."

The Manuherikia catchment proved that a community working together provided better results than individuals on their own, Mr Hoggard said.

"The fact that they’ve been able to bring everyone together with regard to catchment solutions is another part of ... the lesson for elsewhere in the country.

Celebrating the recent funding for the Manuherekia Catchment Group at the Thomsons Creek Wetland,...
Celebrating the recent funding for the Manuherekia Catchment Group at the Thomsons Creek Wetland, near Omakau, yesterday are (from left) Associate Environment Minister Andrew Hoggard, Central Otago district councillor and Matakanui farmer Tracy Paterson and Central Otago District Mayor Tim Cadogan. PHOTO: RUBY SHAW
"The approach around getting that wider community [involvement] — not just the farming community — that will be helpful for other catchments."

Group co-chairman Andrew Paterson said the group appreciated the government funding.

"It’s very much a community-orientated project ... [It is] shining a light on what’s good in the Manuherikia."

General manager Clare Hadley said the funding reflected the comprehensive community engagement the group had done.

The money would go towards a wide range of proposed projects in the catchment area including establishing recreation trails, willow cleanup, river care and spatial GIS mapping, she said.

"Things that really reflect the fact the community came out and said ‘we love this place and want to make sure that it’s even better’."

The group was one of only three nationwide to receive funding, and the only one in the South Island.

The funding came from the At-Risk Catchment Fund — part of the Jobs For Nature programme, earmarked from July 1 this year to June 30, 2025.

 

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