Government pumping $36m into cleaning up waterways

New Zealand waterways are about to get a makeover, with the Government pumping $36 million into 19 clean-up and protection projects.

It's part of a $1 billion package to improve the environment while also creating 400 jobs up and down the country.

The cash injection is sorting out New Zealand's polluted waterways that have been in dire need of help for years.

"Our waterways in New Zealand have been going backwards. To turn that around we need to do practical things on the ground," says Environment Minister David Parker. 

The money will go to 19 projects across the country from Northland all the way to Otago over the next five years.

Marlborough is receiving $1 million for its project at Te Hoiere to create fencing and protection for major wetlands.

District Councillor Barbara Faulls welcomes the funding saying the water quality has deteriorated over the years as a result of sedimentation, nitrogen runoff, and E. coli.

"This funding is fantastic as it gives us the kickstart and the ability to get people involved in planning for strategically cleaning up the waterways."

The funding is part of the Government's $1 billion Jobs for Nature package. It aims to create environmental benefits and provide 400 jobs in the regions following the economic impacts of COVID-19.

"We've been trying to create job opportunities that also improve long term challenges that we face as a country," Parker says.

The project will provide approximately 39 Marlborough locals with employment - and will help ease the financial strain felt by many in the area.

Faulls says it will help those impacted by the lack of tourism.

"There is an impact in the small to medium businesses area particularly within tourism because we don't have our internationals coming into the region."

Work is expected to begin later this year.