Media release

Communities shine during World Rivers Day (issued on behalf of LAWA)

Friday 23 September 2016

This Sunday is World Rivers Day, and Land Air Water Aotearoa (LAWA) is joining more than 60 countries around the world to raise awareness of the need to take better care of our water resources.

LAWA is marking the day by launching a video that celebrates New Zealand’s waterways and the community effort being put into protecting them.

Rivers are not only essential for water supplies, but they are also home to aquatic plants and animals, including many species native to New Zealand. Many of our rivers are also a recreational playground for anglers and water sports.

There are many communities around New Zealand that are actively making a difference to the health of our rivers, and the video highlights what regional councils, organisations, iwi, land owners, and community groups are doing.

Local Government New Zealand Regional Sector Group chairman Stephen Woodhead said 16 rivers from the regions around New Zealand have been featured in the River of the Month video series. The videos have been produced with funding from the Tindall Foundation, and show how groups and individuals have worked together to improve their regions’ waterways for future generations to enjoy.

“The hard work people are putting into restoring the health of rivers and lakes in their region is inspirational,” Mr Woodhead said. “People from all walks of life are involved, and their efforts should be reflected by improvements in water quality over time.”

“LAWA is proud to acknowledge World Rivers Day by releasing a video that summarises the River of the Month stories from around New Zealand and highlights the diversity of groups and individuals who have come together to nurture our waterways. They are our river heroes,” he said.

LAWA connects the public with the environment by sharing local stories and information about the quality of New Zealand’s lakes, rivers, beaches, and air, as well as water quantity data. Regional and unitary councils have updated the freshwater and recreational data available on the LAWA website for this weekend, so the public can find up-to-date information for their area, including the health of rivers.

Tindall Foundation co-founder Sir Stephen Tindall, a LAWA supporter since it launched in 2014, encourages all Kiwis to explore the LAWA website.

“There is a wealth of information on the site that everyone can take advantage of. Jump on to find out about the water quality at your local beach or how healthy the air is in your region.”

“LAWA connects people with their environment by sharing scientific data. The Tindall Foundation is delighted to support such an important source of information made available to all Kiwis thanks to LAWA,” Sir Stephen said.

For further information contact

Stephen Woodhead
Chairman, Local Government New Zealand Regional Sector Group
027 280 1635

About LAWA
LAWA was launched in 2014 and is a collaboration between New Zealand’s 16 regional and unitary councils, the Cawthron Institute and the Ministry for the Environment, and has been supported by the Tindall Foundation. The LAWA website displays data on the health of our rivers and lakes, water quality at bathing beaches, real-time river flows, rainfall and groundwater data, and air quality.