The Government will provide $100,000 in funding toward a beleaguered Hawke's Bay waterway, it has been announced.
Regional Economic Development minister Shane Jones made this announcement today at the launch of the Tuawhenua Provincial Growth Fund in Gisborne, alongside Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters.
The Provincial Growth Fund will invest in planting 88,880 mānuka trees at Whakaki Lake to support a re-circulating wetland to filter water.
The $100,000 funding will help establish a mānuka plantation over the next five years on 80 hectares of retired land next to the Wairoa Lake.
"This is an investment-ready proposal that has buy-in and funding support from key stakeholders – Wairoa District Council, Hawke's Bay Regional Council, Whakaki Lake Trust, the Ministry for Primary Industries, the Ministry for the Environment, the Department of Conservation and Whakaki landowners," Mr Jones said.
The $580,000 project has secured funding from the Ministry for the Environment and the Hawke's Bay Regional Council.
"The local community is often put under pressure when the lake floods surrounding farmland. This innovative project will promote sustainable land use while reducing the impacts of flooding and improving water quality.
"It will also provide economic return for landowners in the form of carbon credits and mānuka honey. About 88,880 mānuka trees will be planted through this project over the next five years."
Mr Jones said the proposal had a range of positive environmental outcomes, including improving water quality, enhancing biodiversity, promoting sustainable land use and helping meet National Environment Standards for Freshwater Management.
"This is an example of what can be achieved when local and central government work in partnerships with communities to tackle the issues they face," he said.
Whakaki Lake was one of six environmental hot spots identified by the regional council in its annual plan this year. Some $1 million was allocated towards undertaking freshwater improvement work in each of the areas.