Collaboration Projects

Horizons' freshwater work is vital to aquatic indigenous biodiversity, which is in a state of degradation. This degradation includes greatly reduced native fish populations, poor habitat (loss of riparian margins in most areas, and the introduction of exotic fish and pest plants), and many barriers between coastal wetlands, streams and headwaters. Horizons has several work programmes dedicated to sustainable land management, improving water quality, and protecting habitats, such as the Sustainable Land Use Initiative (SLUI). Horizons works collaboratively with iwi, community groups, councils, industry partners, and landowners and is an active founding member of the Manawatū River Leaders' Accord and the Lake Horowhenua Accord.


Manawatū River Leaders' Accord

Manawatu River Leaders Accord banner

In August 2010 the members of the Manawatū River Leaders' Forum signed an Accord to take action to improve the state of the Manawatū River, and the wider catchment. The Accord set out focus, vision, and goals for the river. The Action Plan sets out the steps to be taken in order to achieve the vision and goals.

The Forums’ goal is to improve the Manawatū River, the mauri (lifeforce) of the Manawatū River Catchment, such that it sustains fish species, and is suitable for contact recreation, in balance with the social, cultural and economic activities of the catchment community.

This goal represents a community opportunity to develop leadership in catchment improvement and capture the social and economic benefits of such leadership. Visit the Manawatū River website to find out more.

Manawatū River Leaders' Accord Document
Manawatū River Leaders' Accord Action Plan 2011
Manawatū River Leaders' Accord Action Plan 2016
Manawatū River Leaders' Accord Milestone Timeline 2017
Manawatū River Leaders' Accord Progress Report 2018


Father and daughter walking dog beside river


Lake Horowhenua Accord

The Lake Horowhenua Accord draws together five foundation partners to collaboratively pursue the objectives and goals of the Accord, while acknowledging that each partner has their own responsibilities.

Lake Horowhenua is a vital taonga, highly valued by local iwi for a range of reasons including the provision of significant fishery. The lake has the potential to be a considerable recreational asset for the southern part of the North Island and has historically hosted a range of rowing regattas, sailing events and other recreational activities.

The Accord sets out a clear vision for a collaborative approach. This includes outlining the acknowledgements and relationship principles for working together. Further information and various scientific reports on Lake Horowhenua are available below.

The Action Plan provides detail on the key issues impacting Lake Horowhenua, as identified in the Lake Accord document, and the approaches for its restoration. Many of the restoration management actions in this Action Plan are based on scientific and monitoring work undertaken by Horizons to further understand the current situation of Lake Horowhenua and assess various restoration options.

In 2020, the Accord secured funding through the government's Jobs for Nature programme for a package of water quality intervention projects in the Horowhenua Freshwater Management Unit, including at Lake Horowhenua. Find out more about these projects.

Water safety demonstration


Lake Horowhenua Report Card 2017


Lake Horowhenua Report Card 2017

The Lake Horowhenua Report Card is a progress report highlighting the work programmes that have been implemented and funding received since the Action Plan was initiated. While we recognise there is still much to be done, it is positive to see collaboration between Accord partners is helping to make improvements in the lake. 

Lake Horowhenua Action Plan
Lake Horowhenua Accord 2013
Assessment of fish populations in Lake Horowhenua
Assessment of opportunities to address water quality issues in Lake Horowhenua
Delimitation of submerged weed bed areas in Lake Horowhenua
Life history of Lake Horowhenua common smelt analysis of the otolith chemistry and vertebral counts
Restoration Plan for Lake Horowhenua


Regional Freshwater Community Grants 

Stream in Horizons region

This is a Horizons funding grant designed to help community groups, schools, early childhood centres, and iwi/hapu groups with not-for-profit projects that enhance the state of freshwater in our region, or encourage more people to engage with freshwater. Horizons provide funding and advice to support the great work these groups do and to encourage more people to think about the ways we interact with our natural environment and preserve our precious freshwater resources.

Regional Freshwater Community Grant applications are sought annually and guidelines have been developed to help determine whether your project could be eligible for a grant. Check out the eligibility criteria to find out more.