Support the Guardian

Available for everyone, funded by readers

Catchment funding a "great start"

Catchment funding a "great start"

Mid Canterbury Catchment Collective chairperson Duncan Barr says the Government’s announcement of $7 million directly to eleven catchment groups is “a great start”, but more support will be needed.

“We are all facing funding cliffs, and we all need a sustainable funding model moving forward to enhance the good work all catchment groups throughout the country are doing.”

The Ōtūwharekai/Ashburton Lakes Catchment Group, in conjunction with the Mid Canterbury Catchment Collective, will receive $950,000 of funding over four years.

The $7 million in funding is part of a $36 million package announced by Agriculture Minister Todd McClay on June 5.

The package will support Ministry of Primary Industry staff working with catchment groups nationwide.

The latest funding announcement is in addition to MPI’s current investment in 46 catchment-based projects, which support 290 groups and over 9,000 farmers.

“Supporting locally led catchments projects is one way the Government backs farmers’ efforts to improve land management practices and water quality. Every catchment is different – we need local solutions for local issues,” Associate Minister of Agriculture Andrew Hoggard said.

Barr said the direct funding will allow catchment groups to continue investigating issues affecting their catchment and implementing action plans based on local knowledge.

“It’s localisation of issues, not centralisation.

“So rather than central Government in Wellington dictating what’s happening in regions when they have no idea about local issues.

“It’s a good initiative because it puts locals in control of their own destiny.”

By Claire Inkson