The restoration of Lake Omapere has been boosted with a $250,000 grant from the Ministry for the Environment's Te Mana o te Wai Fund.
Environment Minister David Parker announced three equal grants last week, the others going to Whanganui and Gisborne, saying the fund was designed to support projects that would halt degradation and begin making improvements to fresh water.
Te Mana o Roto Omapere Me Ona Awa will use the grant in the development of a strategy to restore Lake Omapere, about 5km north of Kaikohe, including engagement with those who have an interest in the lake, and the development of a monitoring programme to measure its state of health.
Parker said the Government planned to release a new freshwater national policy statement and new national environmental standards for consultation in August, giving everyone a chance to have their say on tough new rules designed to improve fresh water.
"At the heart of our work on fresh water sits Te Mana o te Wai - the mana of the water – which is a concept that encompasses the integrated and holistic health and wellbeing of a water body that can sustain the full range of environmental, social, cultural and economic values held by iwi/hapū and the community," he said.
"Te Mana o te Wai provides the values, principles and practices required to maintain healthy fresh water, while the ministry's Te Mana o te Wai fund helps local iwi realise their aspirations for fresh water."
Lake Omapere is a small lake that is 5km in length and covers 14sq km, but only 2m to 3m deep at its deepest point.
The Lake Omapere Restoration and Management Project aims to develop and implement a voluntary lake management strategy that will work towards improving the health of the lake and help assist the Lake Omapere trustees in their role as kaitiaki.