Saturday, July 20, 2024

Funding flows to Otago freshwater projects

The Thompsons Creek projects, part of the wider Manuherekia catchment programme in Central Otago, have been granted $2.9 million Jobs for Nature funding to help improve water quality and restore freshwater habitats.

It is expected to generate about eight full time equivalent roles across three years.

“The Thompsons Creek projects are based around community engagement, working with landowners, fencing and riparian planting, and protection of threatened, native freshwater fish,” Environment Minister, David Parker said today.

“What is learnt here can inform efforts across the wider Manuherekia catchment programme.”

The Manuherekia catchment was selected as an Exemplar project as part of the At-Risk Catchment Programme by Ministers Parker and Damien O’Connor.

“This approach brings together a range of stakeholders including famers, community groups and iwi, to stop the degradation of the Manuherekia catchment and undo past damage,” Mr Parker said.

“The Manuherekia rises between the St Bathans and Hawkdun ranges in the stunning landscape that has inspired artists such as painter Sir Grahame Sydney and poet Brian Turner.”

Co-chair of the Manuherekia Exemplar Project Governance Group, Anna Gillespie acknowledged the goodwill and support from farmers, agencies, iwi and experts to work together to get this project up and running in a catchment with the complexities of the Manuherekia.

“It’s the beginning of a journey which should see some very exciting initiatives for the catchment and community,” she said.

The Thompsons Creek catchment takes in around 700 water users.

Nicola McGrouther, the project manager for the Thompsons Creek project said work on the wetland will include removing willows, constructing a meandering pathway for the waterway and replanting with (locally sourced) native plants, including over 50,000 tussock.

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