Learning about improvements to the Manawatū River will also be a time to enjoy the festival for the awa.

The three-hour festival will take place February from 12-3pm at Hardie Reserve beside the Fitzherbert Bridge.

Te Oranga o te Awa – Manawatū River Improvement Festival is hosted by the Manawatū River Leaders' Forum, made up of iwi/hapū, local government, industry, farming, environmental and recreational leaders.

TOA and has been in existence since 2010 and all members are signatories to the Manawatū River Leaders' Accord who have pledged to improve the state of the river.

Independent chair Richard Thompson says the festival aims to provide the community with an opportunity to enjoy the river environment and learn about work underway to improve and enhance the river and catchment.

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"The festival will include a Rangitāne kapa haka performance, live music and food trucks to create an awesome atmosphere for people to enjoy," Thompson says.

"Accord members will be onsite with information about what work is underway to improve the awa.

"There will be interactive activities suitable for children which includes looking at native fish and invertebrates, and there will also be information about how people can get involved in caring for the river if they wish.

"A lot of people don't understand the breadth of work underway to improve the Manawatū Catchment so this is the prime opportunity to hear about it."

Thompson said over two million plants have been planted to manage nutrients and protect habitats, and 57 community projects that includes fencing over 800km of waterways to keep stock out.

"Every little bit counts."

The first festival was held in 2018 and Thompson said the event was really well received.

"We thought we'd give it another go, with the hope that it will become an annual event along the length of the river from Norsewood to Foxton.

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"We really hope people take advantage of this free event and come along."

The November 2018 festival also celebrated the launch of a new website for the Accord and a progress report to mark milestones from the 2016-21 Action Plan.

To view the progress report, Action Plan and learn more about the Accord, www.manawaturiver.co.nz

For more information about the Manawatū River Festival see the Facebook event page: facebook.com/events/2845297805521473/