Our recommendations

Crown investment in freshwater clean-up.

We endorse the recommendation made in the Essential Freshwater: Healthy Water, Fairly Allocated report, which sets out the Government's work programme to make long-term improvements in freshwater quality.

We further recommend that the Ministry for the Environment:

  1. improves collaboration and co-ordination with other organisations involved in freshwater clean-up to increase information sharing and ensure that freshwater clean-up projects are complementary and integrated;
  2. promotes greater public visibility and understanding of freshwater clean-up efforts and shares lessons from freshwater clean-up projects nationally;
  3. prioritises current freshwater clean-up projects to develop national freshwater cultural monitoring indicators, including developing actions to improve waterways for swimming;
  4. implements processes designed to ensure that the benefits of freshwater clean-up projects are maintained after funding ends;
  5. improves the contestable funding application process by:
    • having timelines (or a phased approach) to allow sufficient time to promote high-quality applications and provide guidance and support;
    • having transparent and easy to understand criteria that support a consistent quality of applications; and
    • carrying out rigorous due diligence processes, including for organisations that have previously received funding, to assess all applicants' suitability to manage Crown funds.
  6. considers implementing an automated data and fund management system that is compatible with other organisations to improve its existing capacity to use and analyse the data it collects about the use of freshwater clean-up funding and contribute to providing a national freshwater picture; and
  7. improves the accuracy of reporting voluntary (in-kind) contributions alongside financial information in order to recognise those contributions and improve the national picture of their importance to freshwater clean-up efforts.