News from Horowhenua District Council
The move to restore Lake Horowhenua’s environmental health has taken another significant step forward with the launch today of 34 key tasks to be undertaken over the next two years.
The Lake Horowhenua Accord Action Plan 2014 – 2016 was launched at a ceremony in Levin commemorating the first anniversary since five signatory partners (the Lake Horowhenua Trust, Horowhenua Lake Domain Board, Horowhenua District Council, Horizons Regional Council, and the Department of Conservation) committed to the Accord.
The Action Plan identifies the roles and responsibilities of the five partners, provides detail on the eight key issues impacting Lake Horowhenua, as well as the approaches for its restoration.
The 34 tasks underpin the Plan’s 15 management actions that include:
· enhance monitoring
· increase public education
· complete farm environmental plans
· implement boat treatment and weed containment
· install a stormwater treatment system on the Queen Street Drain
· remove sediment inputs
· complete lake-edge plantings using a variety of wetland vegetation
· undertake riparian fencing and planting alongside streams
· undertake lake weed harvesting
· monitor pest fish species populations in the lake
· install a fish pass at the weir on the Hokio Stream weir
· increase management of lake level
· build the capacity of the Lake Horowhenua Trust to more effectively contribute to the lake management
· develop a cultural monitoring programme
· build the capacity of beneficial owners and Muaūpoko to participate and engage in the management of the lake
Under the auspices of the Accord, Horizons Regional Council is administering the $540,000 funding from the Ministry for the Environment’s Fresh Start for Freshwater Clean-up Fund. This is part of the lake’s $1.27 million restoration fund, also including $730,500 of combined funding from Horizons, Horowhenua District Council, the Tararua Growers Association and Dairy NZ.
The Accord partners have developed a work and monitoring programme for the Action Plan. After two years a review of progress will be undertaken, with a full review of the Lake Horowhenua Accord and a refreshment of objectives to take place in August 2018.
Lake Horowhenua Accord chairman Matthew Sword says there is strong desire to apply real actions to address the key ecological issues facing the lake.
“The Action Plan outlines the steps we will take to bring this taonga back to health and return the lake as a source of pride for the people of Horowhenua,” Mr Sword said.
“By publically identifying what we will be doing, what the community can do and what the key issues are, we are drawing a line in the sand and making a real commitment to the future of the lake.”
Horowhenua Mayor Brendan Duffy says it is fantastic to see the progress being made to restore the troubled lake.
“One year on from the signing of the Lake Horowhenua Accord, the development of the Action Plan has all partners singing from the same song sheet. We have the funding to make a start on restoration and we’re wasting no time in getting efforts underway,” Mayor Duffy said.
In August 2013 the Accord’s five signatory partners, representing the Muaūpoko owners, community interests and statutory bodies, agreed to work together to provide leadership; halt the degradation and put in place remedial measures on Lake Horowhenua and the Hokio Stream.
To commemorate the first anniversary there is a week-long display at Te Takere in Levin, including the original Accord signed by the five parties, taonga from Muaūpoko, as well as photos and other imagery of the lake over the century.
A book is also available for the public to sign their commitment to the Lake Horowhenua Accord.