Waikato waterways fail first assessment

  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Waikato River Authority (WRA) co-chair Tukoroirangi Morgan is not surprised that the Waikato River and its catchments have failed its first comprehensive assessment. This follows a report card released yesterday by the WRA that gave the catchment an overall C-plus, with several Waikato lakes and the Waipā River falling well below par. 

The Waikato River and its catchments, the Waipā River along with Waahi, Whangape and Waikare lakes, have been given a rating well below regulations.

Co-chair of the Waikato River Authority, Tukoroirangi Morgan, says, “It's a huge undertaking to clean up the lakes of Waikare, Whangape and Waahi.  That's because of the pollution from dairy farms alongside the river.  If we don't have those areas fenced, the river will remain polluted.”

From Taupō to Port Waikato, it's been five years since the WRA began implementing the Vision and Strategy to restore and protect the health and well-being of the river in a bid to get the river up to clean and healthy standards.

“Within 20 to 30 years, we believe we will begin to see results in the restoration of the health of our river,” says Morgan.

This is place where the Waipā and Waikato rivers meet.  Work still needs to be done to improve the health of the Waipā River in order to meet the aspirations of the Vision and Strategy for the Waikato River.

Niwa spokesperson John Quinn told Te Kāea, “The water quality things that are falling down is in particular the water clarity and the bug levels, mostly in the Waipā, where they have problems with that.”

Morgan says, “If it's left for us do by ourselves, it's really difficult.  But, if we everyone work's together, corporations, councils, and the community.”

Waikato River Authority remain eager to implement the Vision and Strategy, with the hope of lessening the pollution of New Zealand's longest river

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