The final phase of a collaborative project protecting and enhancing fresh water and coastal ecosystems along the Whangawehi Stream on the Mahia Peninsula is being supported by $145,000 from the Community Environment Fund, Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson says.
“The Government is committed to working with local communities, councils and iwi to sustain our waterways and ecosystems. In the upper Whangawehi catchment, people are working together to mitigate the impact from all land users in the catchment, including a new waste water plant, and to coordinate environmental work and education in the community,” Mr Simpson says.
“This final year of the Whangawehi Catchment Restoration Project involves improving water quality in the head waters of the Whangawehi catchment by fencing and planting 10.2 hectares of riverside habitat and creating connectivity between the different ecosystems already protected.
“On Okepuha Station 23,000 native trees will be planted along the margin of the Whangawehi Stream inside 4 kilometres of stock exclusion fencing. Ten newly purchased traps will be laid out within the 10.2ha fenced area to reduce pest pressure and allow the return of indigenous biodiversity in the Whangawehi upper catchment.”
The project has previously received Government funding from both the Community Environment Fund (in 2015) and Te Mana o Te Wai (2016-17) for projects in the lower and middle Whangawehi catchment areas.
“Over the past seven years the project has achieved significant improvements in water quality in the Whangawehi Stream and in protecting native plants and animals. The community has seen increased schools of whitebait, more abundant long fin eels and a 15 per cent increase in the recreational status of the water quality.
“I was delighted that the Group was rewarded by winning the Supreme Award at the recent 2017 Green Ribbon awards as well as the award for Caring for our Water.
“The Government’s target of 90 per cent swimmable rivers and lakes by 2040 is going to require 1000km of rivers be improved every year for the next 23 years. The Whangawehi Catchment Management Group is a powerful example of what is possible. I look forward to the completion of this final part of the restoration and the benefits it will bring to local iwi and communities.”
Love Kaipara has been awarded nearly $135,000 from the Waste Minimisation Fund to support moving Kaipara communities towards zero waste, Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson announced.
“Love Kaipara is leading the way in encouraging behavioural change throughout Kaipara through promotional advertising campaigns and school education programmes. It is establishing important relationships with the local community, and empowering people of all ages to minimise waste and care for their environment,” Mr Simpson says.
The aim of the project is to educate people about recycling and help them to reduce the number of recyclables unnecessarily going to landfill and to reduce littering and illegal dumping of rubbish. It will encourage individuals, community groups, businesses and organisations to embrace the zero waste philosophy.
“This funding will enable Love Kaipara to spread important messages about waste minimisation throughout Kaipara by delivering educational programmes at local schools and by communicating to audiences through print and radio advertising and social media. Love Kaipara will support the Northland Field Days in their endeavours to become a zero waste event.
“This project provides a great example of how passionate organisations in the regional community, such as Love Kaipara, can utilise Government funding to support their waste minimisation initiatives, which have the potential to positively change the behaviour of an entire district.”
The Waste Minimisation Fund provides financial support to projects that reduce environmental harm and provide social, economic and cultural benefits. It is funded from a levy introduced by the National-led Government in 2009, which is charged on waste disposed of at landfills to discourage waste and to fund recycling initiatives. Over $80 million has been awarded to more than 130 projects to date.
The Forest Bridge Trust has been awarded $300,000 from the Community Environment Fund, Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson announced today.
“The vision of The Forest Bridge Trust is to create a connected landscape of healthy forest and flourishing indigenous wildlife from the Kaipara Harbour in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east. They plan to achieve that vision by connecting up bush remnants, fencing, planting and doing weed and pest control throughout the area,” Mr Simpson says.
“The Forest Remnant Protection and Connectivity – Hoteo Catchment project will fence off valuable native bush blocks on farms in the Hoteo River catchment, north of Auckland. The target is for a minimum of 2.5 kilometres of fencing each year.
Advice about animal pest control will be given through a series of community animal pest control workshops. By the end of the three-year project, the Trust aims for 20,000 hectares to have an animal pest control plan being carried out to best-practice standards.
The Trust will also train children from 15 local schools on how to control introduced pests and to track their results using the University of Auckland’s CatchIT system. It hopes that 60 per cent of the families involved will continue to use a trap on their properties and to record the catches, and that 30 per cent of parents will attend a follow up workshop.
“The Government is committed to Predator Free 2050 – a plan to eradicate rats, stoats and possums from New Zealand and protect precious native species. By encouraging local farming families to take an active stewardship role in trapping and recording catch data we will continue to build interest and enthusiasm for pest control. Longer term, widespread local participation could become the community norm with great potential benefits in reduction of pests.”
“It’s great to see the local landowners, communities and councils working together to create a lasting legacy of a pest-free forest where native plants, birds and animals can thrive and be enjoyed by everyone.”
The Community Environment Fund provides funding so New Zealanders are empowered to take environmental action. The Fund support projects that strengthen partnerships, raise public awareness of environmental issues, and encourage community participation in environmental initiatives. Since 2010 the fund has awarded more than $12 million to environmental projects.
Taranaki-based Te Whenua Tōmuri Trust Board has been granted over $130,000 from the Community Environment Fund towards its ‘Maru Wai Matara – Kaitiaki Taiao’ project, Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson announced today.
“The Trust will provide 12 hapū and marae with resourcing, training and mentoring in environmental monitoring and sustainable management. The hapū and marae will be matched with 12 local kura kaupapa and schools to help collect seasonal monitoring data and undertake activities such as riverside planting,” Mr Simpson says.
“The project will also help groups learn about sustainable practices such as permaculture and waste minimisation. They will develop māra kai using traditional practices, with the goal of reconnecting them to their environment through these activities.”
The Te Whenua Tōmuri Trust Board, formed in 2013, is committed to sustainable community development and well-being in Taranaki and beyond. It aims to inspire and protect communities and their natural environment through sustainable techniques.
The Community Environment Fund provides funding so New Zealanders are empowered to take environmental action. The Fund supports projects that strengthen partnerships, raise public awareness of environmental issues, and encourage community participation in environmental initiatives. Since 2010 the fund has awarded more than $12 million to environmental projects.
Further information on the Community Environment Fund is available from www.mfe.govt.nz/more/funding/community-environment-fund.
The Government’s Waste Minimisation Fund has awarded $150,000 to the Waikato Environment Centre to help expand its Kaivolution programme, Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson announced today.
“The goal of Kaivolution is to reduce edible food waste going to landfill, and redistribute it to charities and community groups. Since Kaivolution launched in October 2014, nearly 245,000 kilograms of food have been redistributed in the Waikato community,” Mr Simpson says
“This funding will support the purchase of suitable vehicles, a fork lift and a chiller room that will allow Kaivolution to meet demand from a growing number of food donors, community groups and food recipients in the region.
“Redistributing food that is good enough to eat, but not good enough to sell, provides a sustainable solution for managing food surplus and reduces strain on landfills.
“This is a great example of local businesses and communities working together. It’s good for the environment, good for our community, and good for businesses who work with sustainability values in mind.”
The Waikato Environment Centre also receives $45,000 annually from the Community Environment Fund, to support its activities and services that empower Waikato communities to improve their environmental quality.
The Waste Minimisation Fund was established in 2009, and is funded by a levy of $10 per tonne charged on waste disposed of at landfills. The fund’s purpose is to boost New Zealand’s performance and innovation in waste minimisation by reducing waste and increasing the recovery of useful resources from waste. Over $80 million has been awarded to more than 130 projects to date.
Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson has visited Interbloc NZ and Envirocon to see first-hand how their cutting-edge facility turns leftover concrete into a primary resource.
“The Envirocon product stewardship scheme provides a standard, sustainable and credible waste management solution to the ready-mix concrete and construction industries,” Mr Simpson says.
Leftover wet concrete is delivered to the Envirocon facility in Auckland, where it is upcycled by Interbloc NZ into stackable concrete blocks. A unique collection system stops the waste concrete from setting so it can be used to manufacture the blocks, instead of being dumped at landfill. The Interbloc modular wall system provides the flexibility of bricks with the speed and durability of precast construction.
“Members of the industry-based voluntary scheme improve the organisation’s environmental performance by diverting waste concrete in its wet form, which significantly reduces the resources required to process the waste stream.”
“Envirocon aims to increase its diversion rates to 80,000 tonnes of concrete by 2022 as more construction businesses become aware of the environmental opportunities offered by the Envirocon product stewardship scheme.”
Envirocon is now investigating in-yard collection facilities so delivery trucks can recycle wet waste concrete faster and more easily.
“Huge progress has been made by members of this voluntary product stewardship scheme. It's a great example of forward thinking businesses being innovative and using a waste stream as a resource.
“The Government is keen for businesses and communities to step up and take responsibility for the waste they produce and I congratulate the Envirocon scheme members for making a positive difference. I encourage other organisations and industries to review their manufacturing processes so they too can receive the environmental and economic benefits of product stewardship.”
Bringing together data from across government, a study looking into the lives of premature babies will help front-line doctors and parents make better informed choices about the care of their children, Statistics Minister Scott Simpson says.
The study, undertaken by researchers from Capital and Coast District Health Board and the University of Otago in Wellington, uses Stats NZ’s Integrated Data Infrastructure to look at a whole range of life events – including before-school checks, social development, health conditions, and educational qualifications – to understand the issues and enable better decisions and services to meet needs.
‘Linked data is critical for medical experts and researchers to understand the life course of premature babies, as well as giving parents a better understanding of what the future holds for their children,” Mr Simpson says.
“By looking at health, education, employment and social data of premature babies, and comparing them with other births, researchers can get a good picture of what happens to these babies as they progress to school and into adult life.”
The research team is looking closely at health, education, employment and social data including hospitalisation rates, attendance at school, special needs support, high school exam results, future health issues and employment. Full results are due to be released later in 2017.
The Integrated Data Infrastructure platform was established in 2012 as part of the government drive to improve evidence-based policy making and to promote the reuse of high value publicly held data.
Stats NZ has produced a short video about the research: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-YgtrgwFrY
A further $145,000 will be invested in the restoration of native beech forests, boosting the Government’s efforts to protect our native species, Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson announced today.
The funding from the Government’s Community Environment Fund will go to the Wakatipu Wilding Conifer Control Group (WCG) and the Wakatipu Reforestation Trust (WRT), to help transform previously Wilding infested sites to indigenous forest.
The three-year Wakatipu Beech Seeding Project aims to restore natural heritage in the wilding-conifer-infested areas of the Wakatipu Basin and its tributaries around Queenstown, by encouraging community planting on public land, and establishing a food source for native birds.
“Community-based, large scale re-forestation to pre-human native forest cover is ambitious and challenging. So it’s great to see these local communities coming together to protect New Zealand’s unique natural heritage,” Mr Simpson says.
“Without initiatives like the Wakatipu Beech Seeding Project we would be in danger of losing our indigenous trees and plants to the fast growing and tenacious imported exotics such as pinus radiata that have invaded and degraded many areas over the last 100 years.”
WCG and WRT will work collaboratively with the Queenstown Restoration Trust, DOC, QEII National Trust and Scion to develop efficient methods and protocols to collect and store indigenous seeds from the region, develop seeding protocols and test new techniques that can aid community-based large-scale seeding into dead wilding stands.
The project will train community-based volunteers in seed collection and sowing and how to monitor and record results of the re-forestation projects. The project will share its learnings with community groups both regionally and nationally to help them undertake projects of a similar nature in their own area.
“The ability to show success is vital to gain community involvement for restoration projects. In this project, community members will be able to record and disseminate data to report on the development of the restoration project by using a citizen science based monitoring framework.”
The groups plan to develop a smartphone-based monitoring application to allow for easy recording, automatic upload and processing, and analysis of field data, with results being shared with local communities.
The Wakatipu Wilding Conifer Control Group (WCG) was established in 2009 and is committed to control wilding confers in the Wakatipu Basin to prevent future negative impacts on the natural biological heritage in their area.
The Wakatipu Reforestation Trust (WRT) focus is to restore natural heritage in the Wakatipu area by encouraging community planting on public land, and establishing a food source for native birds
Pest koi carp will be processed as a native plant fertiliser in a dune restoration programme, Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson announced today.
The $108,000 grant to the Coastal Restoration Trust, provided through the Community Environment Fund, will see digested koi carp, a pest fish, sourced from Waikato Regional Council's pilot capture and processing facility, being used as fertiliser in community-based dune restoration programmes.
“This project is about turning an environmental problem into part of an environmental solution. Koi carp are a pest that the Waikato Regional Council was already working to eradicate. This project will take the derived fertiliser and pilot using it to support the growth of native plants on some of our degraded coastal dunes,” Mr Simpson says.
“What impresses me most about this project is that it demonstrates incredible levels of innovation, collaboration and commitment, and addresses not one but a range of environmental issues. All of the parties to the project are to be congratulated.”
Koi carp were introduced as an ornamental fish, but pose a significant threat to freshwater ecosystems by uprooting water plants, lowering water quality and eating insects normally consumed by native fish. Koi carp are considered to be one of the most invasive freshwater fish in the world.
The Trust hopes to see at least 10 coast care groups using Koi carp derived material in their dune restoration programmes by the end of project.
The broader goal of the Trust is to give coastal communities a better understanding of dune systems, the current state of these habitats and practical options for restoration.
The Community Environment Fund provides funding to empower New Zealanders to take environmental action. It support projects that strengthen partnerships, raise public awareness of environmental issues, and encourage community participation in environmental initiatives. The fund has awarded more than $12 million to environmental projects since 2010.
A collaboration of Waitakere community groups will be supported with a $281,865 grant for their work to monitor and make restoration plans for local wetlands and waterways, including the Epping Wetland which has high ecological values.
Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson today announced the grant provided through the Community Environment Fund to Community Waitakere Charitable Trust for their Ngā Puna Manaaki Wahapu project.
“The exciting aspect of this project is the very high level of local engagement and cooperation that’s happening. This project has schools, community groups, iwi, businesses and council staff working together to collect data about wetland sites, evaluate results and identify opportunities for improvement. Then actively participate in community restoration and mitigation activities,” Mr Simpson says
“I’m also really impressed by the level of individual commitment. These aren’t scientists or experts, these are people from all walks of life. They’re local businesses and community groups. They learn how to do the monitoring, they learn how wetlands work and how to run a restoration project. This is citizen science at its best and I am thrilled to see so many people involved.”
This is a three year project that has received in kind contributions made by Morphum Environmental Limited, Auckland Council, ACG Sunderland School and Rutherford College.
The Community Environment Fund provides funding to empower New Zealanders to take environmental action. It supports projects that strengthen partnerships, raise public awareness of environmental issues, and encourage community participation in environmental initiatives. The fund has awarded more than $12 million to environmental projects since 2010.