Seven community groups have been successful in securing financial aid from the Manawatu River Leaders' Accord community grants.

The grants aim to assist non-profit organisations such as community groups, schools, catchment care groups and iwi/hapu with projects that will help increase engagement with Manawatu waterways and improve water quality in the catchment.

This year there was $80,000 for community projects which met the criteria.

HRC natural resources and partnerships manager Jon Roygard said the quality of this year's applications was outstanding.

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"The judging panel had a really tough time deciding which projects would receive aid from our limited funding pool.

"The calibre of applications was exceptional, with many of the projects planned for completion over several years, so to help them kick start them is really pleasing," he said.
Five of the seven projects will plant native and riparian plants to help improve water quality, with one also undertaking willow removal.

Another project will plan the design and layout of the eel interaction platform on the Turitea Stream.

"Planting riparian strips and natives is highly beneficial for stream conditions," he said.
"In doing so, these streams will see reduced weed and algae growth, improved habitat for native fish and stream invertebrates, erosion reduction, and improved habitat and food sources for bees and birdlife."

The sixth project will reinforce kaitiakitanga (guardianship/conservation) values of customary taiao ukaipo landmarks within the Ngati Te Rangiwhaka-ewa hapu of the Rangitane tribal district of Tamaki Nui A Rua.

This year's grants were awarded to:

Mangaone West Catchment Care Group: $31,490 for a community led riparian planting at several properties, with a total of 9400 plants.

Oroua Catchment Care Group — Otoku Stream: $5250 for planting of 1500 plants on private property up stream of plantings which were undertaken two years ago at Affco.
Te Kauru — Te Taiao Ukaipo: $9200 to go towards 2000 plants to go along the Otamaraho and Mangapuaka streams, support of planting days, six research interviews, travel and administration costs.

Stoney Creek Catchment Project: $16,080 to go towards willow removal and 4200 plants in the continuation of riparian enhancement work along Stoney Creek.

Mangaone Stream riparian planting: $3200 for a riparian planting enhancement project adjacent to the Mangaone Stream.

Oroua Catchment Care Group — Rata St walkway: $3375 for 1300 plantings along the Makino Walkway between Rata Street, Feilding and Awahuri Forest.

Urban Eels — Our Sustainable City Phase 3: $7050 for the design and layout of a site for the eel interaction platform on the Turitea Stream.

This will include designing of signage.