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Published: 2003-11-26 00:00:00

Environment Waikato’s Clean Streams project is proving so popular with Waikato farmers that more time needs to be spent keeping up with the demand for advice on how to protect streams.

The Council is providing $10 million over 10 years to fence and plant waterways to exclude stock and improve water quality.

This week’s Environment Committee meeting heard that the project had achieved a very high level of recognition among farmers in the Region and beyond, however completion of work on the ground was behind targets. Adjustments were being made to provide for more contact time between staff and farmers to ensure advice and education was provided and fencing projects were completed, project manager Alan Campbell said.

A highlight was winning the Process Management category and joint overall winner of the New Zealand Post Management Excellence Award.

The project finished last year with all funds allocated but a number of farmers did not complete their projects, so actual contributions were only 75 percent of the budget. Many farmers requested additional follow up to keep stream management on their priority list.

Good progress had been made in developing strategic partnerships with both the New Zealand Landcare Trust and Nurserymen. The Landcare Trust had appointed a regional co-ordinator for the Waikato who would focus on initiating Landcare groups in priority zones.

The proposed nursery accreditation scheme was now in its final draft and will be operating by Christmas.

The fund was on track to be well over allocated this year and there was a lot of activity in intensive dairying country, indicating that dairy farmers in particular are making a strong commitment to stream protection he said.