Cawthron Take Over NZ River Awards

(Published on 5th April 2017)

The Cawthron Foundation have taken over delivery of the New Zealand River Awards.

Established by the Morgan Foundation and the NZ Rivers Trust in 2013, the Awards are enthusiastically supported by regional and local councils, and other key stakeholders in the freshwater space. They celebrate progress made by those who devote a great deal of science, time, effort, and money to improving the wellbeing of our rivers.

NZ Rivers Trust spokesman Andrew Gawith said the Trust and the Morgan Foundation, “wanted to find a permanent home for the Awards and Cawthron Foundation is a great fit. It has a strong scientific background in water and the resources and commitment to take the Awards to another level.”

Cawthron Foundation Chair Dr Morgan Williams explained, “the river space is important to Cawthron and the Awards are an opportunity to celebrate those making a positive difference. They are a way that we can showcase those rivers that are leading the way.”

The Most Improved River Award recognises long-term improvement based on a specific water quality indicator. Each year a different indicator is used, and 2017 will use e-coli levels, with the winner determined using monitoring data from the Land Air Water Aotearoa ( database.

Dr Williams said, “The Awards, which are now into their fifth year, showcase efforts that are representative of a growing movement to improve waterways across our country. Many people have been working hard to clean rivers up, and their hard work is paying off. We must celebrate our champions.”

The Department of Conservation, Ministry for the Environment, and THL are past supporters of the awards and are looking forward to the relationship with Cawthron Foundation. Other supporters may come on board.

The Awards feature stories from around New Zealand about water management and the environment, as well as the Reo mō te Awa (voice for the river) Award for an individual who has been a strong advocate for rivers.

“There are many thousands of inspiring examples of individuals, communities, organisations and businesses working to restore New Zealand’s waterways. Their stories are just that – tales of people, passion, and pride in their local environment,” said Dr Williams.


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