Waikato River Authority supports call for national framework on freshwater clean-up

The Waikato River Authority says it will welcome the signing of an agreement which helps Auckland through its water crisis by accessing additional water from the Waikato River.

The agreement, known as He Paiheretanga o Ngaa Wai o Waikato, has restated Auckland’s commitment to the health and wellbeing of the river. Auckland City Council and Watercare have also said they will be establishing a river restoration trust which will include representation iwi and the Waikato River Authority.

Waikato River Authority Iwi Co-Chairs, Roger Pikia and Paula Southgate, say the priority for the Authority has always been ‘river first’.

“We are pleased that any issues preventing the agreement being signed are close to being resolved, which will give Auckland comfort in terms of its water supply through the summer. We are confident the agreement together with a restoration trust will further help the health and wellbeing of the river,” says Ms Southgate.

“The task of restoring and protecting the Waikato River for future generations is immense. The Authority has a lead role and responsibility in helping ensure the wellbeing of the river and we welcome support from industry and local government in achieving our vision,” says Mr Pikia.

Mr Pikia says the Authority has made significant progress through ten years of funding restoration projects in the river catchment, and it looks forward to working with Watercare on more projects in the years ahead.