An environmental hotspot in Hawke's Bay has been given a $3 million funding boost from the Government's Freshwater Improvement Fund.

The funding will help revitalise Whakakī Lake, north-east of Wairoa, which was identified as an environmental hotspot in Hawke's Bay Regional Council's 2017-18 Annual Plan.

Hawke's Bay Regional Council's Wairoa-Mohaka catchment manager Nathan Heath says the majority will go to two projects focusing on water quality.

"The first project is to construct a weir to maintain water levels, and protect the lake from dropping too low in summer."


"The weir will allow more water to be held in the lake but can be manually opened in late spring or summer to prevent flooding."

"The second significant project is to put in a recirculating wetland."

"This will pump silt-laden water from the lake, through a wetland treatment system and return cleaner water to the lake."

HBRC's Māori Partnerships manager Pieri Munro said he welcomed the news.

"The lake is considered a taonga to the many hapū of Whakakī Marae, Iwitea Marae and all those who live in the Whakakī catchment."

"The aim is to restore the health of the lake for future generations so our tuna (eels), morihana (carp) and traditional kaiare are fit for consumption and people can swim safely."

Munro says there is already work being undertaken to help restore the lake, Regional Council, iwi and farmers have already been fencing and undertaking riparian planting around parts of the lake.

Whakakī Lake Trust chair Richard Brooking said the funding was a great result.


"This is a significant milestone for the revitalisation of the lake, support for the current catchment fencing and planting projects."

"It will also help strengthen our existing community relationships."

"It will be a catalyst for further development including research, science and technology, increased visitor and tourism activity as well as student and adult education opportunities."