6 May 2010

Legislation to protect and restore Waikato River passed

5:46 pm on 6 May 2010

Parliament has passed legislation to have the Waikato river restored and protected.

Hundreds of members of Tainui were at Parliament on Thursday evening for the third and final reading of the bill which received wide backing; only the ACT Party voted against it.

The legislation establishes the Waikato River Authority which allows co-governance of the river by the regional council and iwi groups, with equal numbers of Crown and iwi appointees.

It also includes a $210 million cleanup fund for the river during the next 30 years.

Treaty Negotiations Minister, Chris Finlayson, explained why the clean-up is needed.

He said there are over 80 point source discharges discharging directly into the river on the main stem, and approximately 1600 discharges to its tributaries.