About the Strategy

The Waikato and Waipā Rivers Restoration Strategy has been developed to maximise opportunities to realise the Vision & Strategy for the Waikato River catchment. Through the Waikato-Tainui Raupatu Claims (Waikato River) Settlement Act 2010, the Waikato River Authority (WRA) was established as an independent entity on behalf of the Waikato River. 

Restoration strategy thumbnail

The Waikato River Authority (WRA) was given two powerful tools to restore and protect the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River for future generations. Firstly, the Vision & Strategy would coordinate and influence all Acts and policy (as it has the status of a National Policy Statement). Secondly, the Crown allocated $220 million over 30 years to support the clean-up of the rivers. This funding is managed by the Waikato River Clean-up Trust (WRCuT), under the auspices of the WRA, to support and coordinate the restoration efforts of community and iwi and is in addition to the substantial funding also provided to river restoration activities by central and local government organisations, non-government organisations, iwi, private landowners and others.

There are a range of individuals and organisations undertaking and funding river restoration work, however collaboration between the many funding agencies and those organisations legislatively tasked to give effect to the Vision & Strategy has not been as strong as it could have been.

The Waikato and Waikato Rivers Restoration Strategy was embarked on as a 5-20 year action plan for the Waikato and Waipa Rivers and their catchments. Its purpose is to guide future ‘on the ground’ activities for all organisations funding or undertaking restoration activities throughout the catchment.

The strategy is non-binding and non-statutory, however it helps provide direction for funders who are seeking important projects to fund, and to organisations, iwi, communities and individuals who are keen to undertake work and want to deliver high impact results.

The total budget for the strategy is $340 million. This is an estimate based on $170 million from the WRCuT and $170 million from other funding sources.

Read more about the Vision & Strategy here


The Restoration Strategy includes the Waikato and Waipā river catchments.

Map of the Waikato and Waipa River catchment boundaries

The Strategy covers a wide range of restoration activities with a focus on six core work streams

  • Erosion and sedimentation
  • Water quality
  • Biodiversity
  • Fish
  • Access and recreation
  • Cultural values.

For more information, read the full Strategy.