Waterway restoration funding up for grabs

Landowners and community groups could be eligible for money to help protect and restore local waterways, thanks to the latest round of Rodney Local Board’s Healthy Harbours and Waterways Fund.

This is the third year that funding has been made available for the protection, enhancement or restoration of streams, wetlands and coastal margins using fencing and planting schemes. It is also available for alternative water supplies for livestock that might be needed as a result of fencing. The fund covers private and Maori land, and is focused on the Kaipara, Mahurangi and Makarau catchments, which have a high concentration of E.coli bacteria.

Applicants who meet the fund criteria can apply for funding of up to 50 per cent of their project cost, provided they supply or source the other half.

The Board says that by June next year, around $1.2 million will have been invested through the fund since it was launched, including $750,000 allocated by the Board, enabling 30,000m of stock-proof fencing to be installed and the planting of 49,000 native shrubs.

Makarau farmer James Thompson successfully applied for funding in a previous round and used the money for fencing.

“This has allowed me to exclude stock from a section of the Makarau River and fence off a feeder gully,” he says. “Without this funding, I would not have been able to complete these tasks for some time to come.”

The Local Board works in partnership with industry and community groups, including Beef + Lamb NZ, Dairy NZ, Fonterra and The Forest Bridge Trust, which work directly with local landowners, and Te Uri O Hau supplies plants from its native nursery at Te Arai.

Applications are open until Friday, September 15.

Info: Visit aucklandcouncil.govt.nz and search for “Rodney healthy harbours” or contact Alan Phelps on 022 197 8230 or email alan.phelps@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz