Finalist for Prestigious NZ Riverprize

(Published on 20th July 2015)

NZ Landcare Trust's entry for this years prestigious Morgan Foundation NZ Riverprize has been shortlisted for the finals, due to take place in September at the 18th International Riversymposium in Brisbane.

The Aorere River story is one of a rural community that proactively responded to the challenge of declining water quality. Led by local dairy farmers and with assistance from NZ Landcare Trust,  the community formed a catchment management group and set about making positive changes. Key to their success was a practical approach that included excluding stock from waterways by constructing new stock bridges and installing riparian fencing.

"Becoming a finalist in the inaugural NZ Riverprize is an amazing achievement for the NZ Landcare Trust.  It is a reflection of the Trust's 19 year journey to support the farming community to restore New Zealand' freshwater ecosystems. I would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the Trust's staff and Trustees to this mission. Special recognition goes to our Nelson/Marlborough Regional Coordinator, Barbara Stuart, for a lifetime's commitment to supporting the rural community, in particular, the farmers in the Aorere River catchment" said NZ Landcare Trust Chief Executive Dr Nick Edgar.

"The Trust is a national independent Non Government Organisation committed to sustainable land and water management.  The Trust supports landowners to voluntarily adopt Best Management Practices to mitigate the impact of intensive agricultural practices on water quality.  Voluntary actions by the farming community to improve New Zealand's water bodies are a critically important feature of farming in this country, and these actions complement the regulatory regime imposed by central and local government" Dr Edgar continued.

Dr Edgar suggests that top down regulation needs to be augmented by bottom up leadership from the rural community, if we are to successfully safeguard New Zealand's water resources - our most significant national asset.

The Aorere River is a special place and the farming community are aware of this and have made significant voluntary investments in sustaining the water quality of the River. It has been a privilege for the Trust to work with these forward thinking farmers and to have been supported by the Tasman District Council, the dairy industry and Golden Bay shellfish farmers on this initiative.

The Trust would also like to acknowledge the other NZ Riverprize finalists. "No matter who wins the prize, we are all winners... because promoting these river stories can only encourage further efforts to secure healthy waterways for all New Zealanders" concluded Dr Edgar.




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