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Sun January 17 2021

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New Zealand targets waterway clean-up

6 days The New Zealand government has announced a package of 19 projects to clean and protect waterways.

Across the 19 projects, up to 413 full-time equivalent jobs are expected to be created over the next five years.

The projects have been awarded NZ$36m (£19m) of government funding. Together with council and other contributions, the package will see more than NZ$70m invested.

Environment minister David Parker said: “From the high-country slopes in Canterbury to sensitive wetlands in the Nelson region, rivers in Northland, Taranaki, Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay and Otago – this funding will help our freshwater systems right across the country.”

Te Mana o Te Wai, the guiding principle of the recently-released Essential Freshwater reforms, means protecting the life-supporting capacity of freshwater. It gives priority to the health of freshwater, then the needs of people and then commercial uses.

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“The funding will support councils and landowners to implement the new freshwater regulations and give effect to Te Mana o Te Wai by supporting stock exclusion, fish passage remediation, the development and implementation of freshwater farm plans and sediment control activities like riparian planting,” said Parker.

The funding comes from the Freshwater Improvement fund, which is part of the Government’s NZ$1.245bn ‘Jobs for Nature’ package, which aims to create significant environmental benefits and employ thousands in the regions to help accelerate the recovery from the impact of Covid-19.

“With over 100 other Jobs for Nature funded projects already announced, and more than 800 jobs created so far, this programme is having a swift and powerful impact on our regions and the environment,” said Parker. “The projects announced today will build on the great work already happening across New Zealand.”

Funding deeds will now be negotiated with the successful recipients, with boots on the ground expected in the second quarter of 2021.

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