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Response About Our Freshwater Clean-up Recommendations


We asked the Ministry for the Environment for an
update on its response to recommendations we made in 2019
about the Crown’s investment in efforts to clean up New
Zealand’s freshwater.

We wanted this update
because we are interested in providing increased public
transparency on progress with addressing our
recommendations.

In 2019, our report Crown
investment in freshwater clean-up
looked at how well the
Ministry for the Environment was administering four specific
funds for Crown investment in freshwater clean-up
projects.

We recommended that the Ministry for the
Environment:

  • improve collaboration and
    co-ordination with other organisations to increase
    information sharing and ensure that freshwater clean-up
    projects are complementary and integrated;
  • promotes
    greater public visibility and understanding of freshwater
    clean-up efforts and share lessons from freshwater clean-up
    projects nationally;
  • prioritise current freshwater
    clean-up projects to develop national freshwater cultural
    monitoring indicators, including developing actions to
    improve waterways for swimming;
  • implement processes
    that ensure the benefits of freshwater clean-up projects are
    maintained after funding ends;
  • improve the
    contestable funding application process;
  • consider
    implementing a fully compatible and automated data and fund
    management system to improve its capacity to use and analyse
    the data it collects and contribute to a providing a
    national freshwater picture; and
  • improve the
    accuracy of reporting voluntary (in-kind) contributions
    alongside financial information, to recognise those
    contributions and improve the national picture of their
    importance to freshwater clean-up efforts.

Read
what the Ministry has said about its progress with those
recommendations:

We have not
audited the information in the Ministry’s response.
However, as with all our work, we might choose to carry out
a formal follow-up audit on our recommendations, or any
aspect of the 2019 audit, in the future.

We will also
seek further updates on progress from the Ministry where we
consider it relevant to do
so.

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