27 May 2021

Bid to restore Lake Horowhenua with new wetland project

5:57 pm on 27 May 2021

The government has agreed to buy a dairy farm next to Lake Horowhenua to construct a wetland and help restore the polluted lake.

Lake Horowhenua

Lake Horowhenua. Photo: RNZ / Bridget Grace

Environment Minister David Parker said Horowhenua was one of the most degraded lakes in the country and this was the chance to turn it around.

"The wetland project itself will improve water quality and the habitat for native fish, birds and plant species, while also providing jobs and recreational opportunities for the community," Parker said.

The government has put $11.2 million towards the project, some of which went towards buying the 142 hectare farm for $6.7m.

The Horizons Regional Council also put $1m towards purchasing the land.

The project is a collaboration between the regional council, Muaūpoko, Lake Horowhenua Trust which represents the owners of the lake, Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga, the Horowhenua District Council, dairy farmers, horticulturalists and the wider Lake Horowhenua community.

It is expected to create up to 45 full-time jobs over four years.

The wetland design is yet to be finalised, but once the wetland is complete it is expected to significantly reduce the nitrogen levels in the lake.

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Photo: Supplied / Ministry of Environment

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