The Ruamahanga River is getting government funding. PHOTO/STOCK.ADOBE.COM

GIANINA SCHWANECKE
gianina.schwanecke@age.co.nz

The government has announced more than $1 million funding for the Ruamahanga River Scheme to help with stopbank and soil erosion protection as part of a regional climate change response package.

A further $100m has been set aside for regions to protect against and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

The Wellington region, one of six included in the scheme, received $10.8m in funding for three projects designed to create about 53 jobs, including work on the Ruamahanga River Scheme.

This will involve $1m for establishing a land buffer and tree planting along the riverbank and further funding for stopbank reconstruction.

Other Wellington projects are also related to erosion and stopbank protection along the Hutt River.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said there was no doubt about the risk posed through climate change.

“There is no doubt climate change poses a real danger to our regions through extreme weather events, coastal inundation, and the associated problems such as erosion, flooding and the destruction of infrastructure.

“This has a negative impact on those regional economies and their productivity.”

He said it was important to provision regions with the resources needed to protect against these issues and the funding would help stimulate the local economy by getting people into work.

The funding comes from the $3 billion infrastructure package as part of the covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund announced early last month.

The funding announcement comes after the release of the first national climate change risk assessment for New Zealand report on Monday morning which identified 10 climate-related risks which require urgent action in the next six years.