Waikato response to climate change

The Waikato River Authority is hosting a workshop to discuss climate change issues for the Waikato River and Waipā River catchments next month.

Authority co-chairs Hon John Luxton and Roger Pikia say the workshop will provide valuable information and feedback for the Authority particularly in relation to the funding of restoration work in the wider catchment.

“When the Authority started its work ten years ago, there wasn’t the same urgency around Climate Change action as there is today. As a consequence, the Vision & Strategy for the river, which was established prior the Waikato River Authority being formed, is silent on Climate Change,” says Mr Luxton.

Fellow co-chair Roger Pikia says the workshop is an important opportunity to hear from a range of experts and at the same time apply a Waikato – Waipā lens to the issue of Climate Change.

Since its establishment, the Authority has invested $50 million on restoration related projects such as riparian planting, wetland restoration, afforestation and other forms of land and water conservation. These projects have directly contributed to climate adaptation and mitigation, in addition to water quality and ecosystem outcomes, and social and cultural impacts. 

“There is clearly strong interest by the Waikato River Authority to pursue more purposefully the challenge of climate change and further leverage the Vision & Strategy for the well-being of future generations,” says Mr Pikia.

Organisations presenting at the workshop include NIWA, Ministry of Primary Industries, and Waikato Regional Council. There will also be speakers on the iwi perspective on Climate Change with part of the day focused on science and Māori knowledge in relation to climate resilience.