Freshwater Improvement Fund projects

The Freshwater Improvement Fund supports the management of New Zealand’s lakes, rivers, streams, groundwater and wetlands.  On this page you can find out about projects that have been funded in 2017.

Two funding rounds to open this year:

  • the first is a short six-week open period, accepting applications between 7-21 September, and will prioritise investment ready projects 
  • the second longer period will accept applications from 27 January-10 February 2021 to allow applicants more time to spend developing their proposals. 

Project descriptions and locations

Get an overview of each project that has been granted funding from the Freshwater Improvement Fund.

View the information on a map or in a table (links below).


Improving the water quality and mauri of the Pūniu River

Restoration of the Pūniu River is of significant spiritual value to Tangata whenua, the kaitiaki of this awa.

The kaupapa of the Ngā Kaitiaki o te Awa o Pūniu (Guardians of the Pūniu River) project is to connect local whānau with improving water quality and the mauri of Waikato’s Pūniu awa. The project employs 30 people to do this important mahi.

Learn more about the project

Restoration of Ahuriri Wetland

The Ahuriri Lagoon was once a large body of water and wetland. The lagoon was gradually drained and ecological and mahinga kai values all but lost.

The aim is recreate the wetland. The main goals are to improve water quality, biodiversity values in the area and recreate a mahinga kai site for iwi. 

Protecting the water quality in Lake Wanaka and the Upper Clutha catchment

The water quality of Lake Wanaka and the Upper Clutha Catchment is being affected by growth in agriculture, tourism and urban development. The Wānaka Water Project’s goal is to reduce the impacts.

The project received $385,000 from the Freshwater Improvement Fund to:

  • develop and implement an integrated catchment management plan 
  • riparian plant along waterways
  • assess the effects of urban development on lake health and decide management measures.