Collective community clean-up wins at NZ River Awards

Date:  08 November 2019

The Ministry for the Environment applauded community leadership and a passion to clean up waterways, as it congratulated the Tasman River Recovery Project for winning the River Story Award at the NZ River Awards last night. 

The Ministry-sponsored (MfE) award was presented on Thursday evening at a ceremony run by the Cawthron Institute. The River Story Award celebrates individuals or communities working to improve river health. 

The Tasman River Recovery Project was recognised for its efforts to restore and protect the river, which flows from the famous Tasman Glacier into Lake Pukaki in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park.

MfE Deputy Secretary Anne Haira said the project is a great example of individuals, communities and organisations banding together to recognise environmental issues and working collectively to make positive changes. 

“New Zealanders care deeply about protecting the environment, and the Tasman River Recovery Project must be congratulated for taking a leadership role. The project embodies a community spirit, and the Ministry applauds the collective can-do attitude to try and keep New Zealand rivers healthy,” said Ms Haira. 

“When groups come together with a common goal, to care for and protect our whenua, extraordinary things can be achieved. It’s wonderful to see volunteers, businesses and government come together to protect the environment. We also congratulate the other finalists in this award category.” 

Ms Haira said, “We acknowledge and thank the thousands of other Kiwis who are also doing great work, on their own farms and properties, through catchment groups, and in their communities to improve their local environment.”

The Tasman River Recovery Project brings together local land owners, volunteers, power companies Meridian Energy and Genesis Energy, and the Department of Conservation. For the past 15 years they have been working to restore the Tasman River’s natural ecosystem.

In that time they have seen a significant reduction in the number of invasive plants and predators, and a rise in native bird populations such as the Tarapirohe (black-fronted tern). 

The NZ River Awards also recognised the Reo mō te Awa (River Voice) Award and the Most Improved River Award.

A video and more information about the Tasman River Recovery Project can be found at this link


Ministry for the Environment media contact: