Freshwater Improvement Fund projects

The Freshwater Improvement Fund supports the management of New Zealand’s lakes, rivers, streams, groundwater and wetlands. The Government has committed $100 million over 10 years to the Freshwater Improvement Fund. 

The fund is not currently open for applications and dates for the next funding round have not been set. 

On this page you can find out about projects that have been funded.

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 goals of the ‘Ngā Kaitiaki o te Awa o Pūniu’ (Guardians of the Pūniu River) are to improve water quality and the mauri of Waikato’s Pūniu awa and restore the tuna habitat and terrestrial biodiversity.

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 Upper Clutha Lakes Trust'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.