Things are certainly looking up for the Manawatu River with the Prime Minister’s recent announcement of $5.2million of government funding to go towards cleaning up the river.
The members of the Manawatu River Leaders’ forum are rapt with the news and excited about what they see as a real boost to the work already underway.
The Manawatu River has been widely used by the media in reports about water quality in New Zealand. It has become a symbol for the challenges facing our country's freshwater and addressing the river's state is as important for our local community as it is for the rest of New Zealand.
When something’s had the kind of publicity the Manawatu River’s received in recent years it’s easy to overlook the positives and the Manawatu River is as mighty as it is unique. It’s one of very few rivers in the world that run on both sides of mountain ranges, meeting the sea at the Manawatu estuary which is internationally renowned due to its status as a RAMSAR site. The estuary is a feeding ground for a flock of godwits and knots from Alaska and Siberia.
The river is also home to a rich variety of aquatic life including: koaro, dwarf galaxias, shortjaw kokopu, redfin bully, banded kokopu, lamprey, brown mudfish and Whitebait. The rare whio, or blue duck, is also found in the catchment.
The Manawatu Leaders Forum is passionate about improving the Manawatu River and thanks to the support of central government, realising their vision of a healthy river is now a little closer.