The Boards of Watercare and the Waikato River Authority have agreed on how restoration funding from Watercare will be used to protect the awa over the next 20 years.
This funding arises from a condition in Watercare’s 20-year water take permit for a further 150 million litres per day from the Waikato River that requires Watercare to contribute $2m each year to the WRA to fund river restoration work.
This brings Watercare’s total take from the Waikato River to up to 300 million litres per day.
The WRA and Watercare boards met in Hamilton on Tuesday (14 March) to discuss their relationship for the benefit of the awa.
The WRA board recently decided that Watercare funding will be applied to the first $2 million of successful funding applications the WRA receives in each of its annual funding rounds.
This approach is administratively simple, highly transparent, and complies with WRA’s legislative requirements.
WRA Co-chair Tipa Mahuta stated that “while the WRA does not support further water being taken from the Waikato River for Auckland, this new funding will further support positive outcomes for the Waikato River and her communities.”
She noted the WRA board is particularly encouraging funding applications from the lower Waikato River catchment where Watercare’s water take is located.
Watercare Board Chair Margaret Devlin said Watercare is proud to be contributing funding to support projects that protect and enhance the Waikato River.
“Watercare is committed to supporting the betterment of the Waikato River.
“These annual contributions and our arrangement with the Waikato River Authority reflect the importance of protecting and restoring the awa that plays a significant role in sustaining Auckland and allowing it to grow.”