NEXT Foundation invests in Te Awaroa

18 December 2014

Te Awaroa, A Thousand Rivers was one of the four recipients of NEXT Foundation's investments in the fields of environment and education announced this week. Te Awaroa will work with local communities to dramatically improve the quality of New Zealand’s rivers. NEXT Foundation has made an initial commitment of approximately $5m across the four selected projects.

As Patron of the Te Awaroa project Distinguished Professor Dame Anne Salmond is leading a crucial effort to save our rivers. “Our environment and its rivers strike at the heart of our global image. We want New Zealand to continue to be an attractive place to do business and a place where talented people and their families want to live. So much of our economy is dependent on an image of a clean, green, beautiful productive land where food is safe and good and the landscape is breath taking.”

Te Awaroa is about helping our rivers to flourish. Working alongside local people to solve the issue of river quality, Te Awaroa will be a catalyst and support for communities who want to ensure their rivers are healthy. Using a coordinated "whole of catchment" approach the team at Te Awaroa will work with the breadth of stakeholders – from farmers to scientists to community leaders – to solve river challenges.

The Te Awaroa team of eminent river and environmental scientists includes Professor Gary Brierley and Dr. Brad Coombes from the School of Environment, Professor Gillian Lewis from the School of Biological Sciences, and Dr. Dan Hikuroa from Nga Pae o te Maramatanga.

Chris Liddell, the Chair of NEXT Foundation, said “We are excited to announce our first four initiatives that we believe can make a permanent contribution to future generations of New Zealanders. We are delighted to be supporting projects that have huge aspirations, and are also run by inspirational Kiwis looking to make a difference to real problems.”

The four projects were selected by the NEXT Foundation Board from a total of 287 submissions in July this year, after an evaluation process run against clear criteria and a thorough due diligence process. NEXT Foundation is continuing to work with other initiatives from this year’s application process that it hopes to be able to support in 2015.

“This is ‘first steps’ for NEXT Foundation,” explained Bill Kermode, the CEO of NEXT Foundation. ”The areas of environment and education these investments are in are important, but there are others that we look forward to becoming involved in in our future application processes.”

Read more about the NEXT Foundation investments in environment and education

Read more about Te Awaroa