An injection of cash from the government will boost clean-up efforts for the Horowhenua's Waikawa Catchment waterway.

Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced last week that a grant of $170,000 grant from the Community Environment Fund would go towards the Waikawa Stream Community Catchment Project.

The waterway, which runs between the Tararua Ranges and the coast at Waikawa Beach is considered to be a significant priority by Horizons Regional Council, Sage said.

"We want healthy rivers throughout New Zealand," she said.


"Agriculture in the catchment is adding pressure to an already vulnerable river, E. coli levels in the lower catchment are high, and there is a risk of water quality continuing to decline unless change occurs."

Sage said landholders, stakeholders and the community were being brought together by Landcare Trust NZ via the project, an approach the government was happy to support.

"This collaboration is bringing together different perspectives and uniting the community behind a common goal of a clean and healthy river," she said.

Currently, the hill country land in the catchment area is used for sheep and beef farming and forestry, while on the lowland flat areas, horticulture and dairy farming are carried out.

Sandy land areas closer to the coast are used for grazing.

Along with the government funding announced for the catchment, Horizons is putting in $90,000 while Landcare Trust NZ will contribute $30,000 and landholders will chip in $15,000 for the project.

Sage said it aimed to create three demonstration sites along the stream by 2021 to highlight current good management practices for stock exclusion, erosion control and riparian planting.

"At the same time the Landcare Trust will work with several educational organisations to conduct stream monitoring and work with iwi and hapū to develop a strategy and action plan," she said.