Communities Shine During World Rivers Day

This Sunday is World Rivers Day, and Land Air Water Aotearoa (LAWA) is joining over 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 LAWA is releasing a video to celebrate World Rivers Day that highlights what regional councils, organisations, iwi, land owners and community groups are doing.

Stephen Woodhead, chair of the regional sector group of Local Government New Zealand, said sixteen 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.

Stephen Tindall, Co-founder of The Tindall Foundation and supporter of LAWA 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.”