Lagoon restoration gets $517,000 govt boost

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The restoration of the degraded Wainono Lagoon has received another cash injection.
Environment Minister Nick Smith and Maori Party coleader Marama Fox visited the Waihao marae last week to announce a $517,000 contribution towards further restoration of the South Canterbury lagoon.
The lagoon isa 480ha salt marsh and freshwater wetland that supports a wide range of native vegetation but has gradually been degraded because of the build-up of nutrient-laden sediment.
In 2012, ECan estimated it would cost $2.5 million and take five years for fencing, planting and weed management to be completed.
That project’s operational objective was to establish sediment control measures in the Hook catchment to reduce sediment running into the Wainono Lagoon.
ECan commissioner Tom Lambie said the latest round of funding would build on local community momentum that had developed around lagoon restoration work.
‘‘This isa great success for Waihao runanga and a credit to their longstanding work for the environment, and the wider community,’’ Mr Lambie said.
‘‘We appreciate the partnership we have with Waihao runanga and look forward to supporting them in this new project.’’
The Waihao runanga’s Te Mana O Te Wai project would carry on the work by extending the existing programme across more of the Wainono catchment, Mr Lambie said.
Te Runanga o Waihao Inc chairman Graeme Lane said the runanga was delighted to receive the funding.
‘‘The lagoon is one of our top priorities and the additional funding we received will go a long way to helping us in our goal to restore the lagoon.’’
The lagoon and its tributaries are highly significant to the Ngai Tahu hapu of South Canterbury as a mahinga kai source and the area continues to hold significant cultural value.