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Govt gives $1.5 million to improve the mauri of Lake Tutira

A $1.5 million Government grant has kick-started a four-year project that will accelerate existing efforts to improve the mauri of Lake Tutira.

Project Te Waiu o Tutira (the milk of Tutira) aims to improve water quality and ecological habitat in Lakes Waikopiro and Tutira, forming part of a nationwide effort to clean up New Zealand’s rivers and lakes.

The project has been formed out of a partnership between Maungaharuru-Tangitu Trust, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Ministry for the Environment and Tutira local residents. The total cost of the project is expected to be $3.5m over five years.

Outcomes include a community-driven Integrated Catchment Management Plan for Tutira, cultural monitoring programme, ongoing riparian planting, sediment traps, and Farm Environmental Management Plans, subsidy schemes and land management support for local landowners.

The Government grant came from the Ministry for the Environment’s Freshwater Improvement Fund and with this additional support, it is full steam ahead for the Te Waiu o Tutira project.

The Freshwater Improvement Fund has committed $100m over the next 10 years to improve the management of New Zealand’s lakes, rivers, streams, groundwater and wetlands nationwide.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council chairman Rex Graham says confirmation of Government funding for the project was great news.

“Lake Tutira needs our help and this funding allows us to take practical steps to improve the mauri of the lake,” said Mr Graham.

Maungaharuru-Tangitu Trust general manager Shayne Walker said for too long the mauri (life force) of the taonga (treasure) had been ignored.

“This commitment from all is a sign that it is finally accepted the environment sustains us, not the other way around,” Mr Walker said.

BOOST: A $1.5 million Government grant has kicked started a four-year project that will accelerate existing efforts to improve Lake Tutira. Picture supplied