17 Feb 2015 Australia and New Zealand Riverprize Winners
Between 2001 and 2015, 15 Australian Riverprizes were awarded and one New Zealand Riverprize was awarded. These winners and finalists are recognised below.
2015 – Murray River, Australia
Winner: Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority
The Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority received the Australian Riverprize for its long-term commitment to integrated river basin management, including Aboriginal involvement, equitable government relationships and international partnerships. The Ngarrindjeri’s Kungun Ngarrindjeri Yunnan Agreement (KNYA) established a new and positive relationship between the Ngarrindjeri and the South Australian Government, which has seen an innovative and integrated approach to river basin management for the Murray. In particular, the Agreement emphasised a participatory approach with the land’s traditional custodians—moving past historical barriers to Aboriginal involvement in integrated river basin management—which has led to opportunities to develop Aboriginal-led wetland management plans for land owned by the Ngarrindjeri people.
“The Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority are sharing with us an ancient knowledge of speaking and caring for our rivers and wetlands. Their leadership in the management of their country provides us with inspiration and hope for the future of the Murray River. This is a clear recognition of the importance of listening and learning from Aboriginal people.” – Dr Deborah Nias, CEO of the Murray-Darling Wetlands Working Group.
2015 – Aorere River, New Zealand
Winner: Aorere River Initiative
The Aorere River Initiative won the New Zealand Riverprize in 2015, which was sponsored by the Morgan Foundation.
The Aorere River Initiative is a farmer-led catchment project aimed at improving the river following serious bacterial contamination from dairy farms in the region. The Initiative has not only improved the ecological health of the river and coastal environment but also helped to created community cohesion between dairy farmers and marine farmers—whose mussel and cockle farms are directly impacted by the state of the river.
“I think this is a real victory for community-led grassroots river management in New Zealand. Without the [Aorere river community], the story really wouldn’t have happened.” – Nick Edgar, Chief Executive of NZ Landcare Trust.
“It is a tribute to the Aorere River to be recognised on an international scale for their collaborative approach to restoring the health of the river, and we look forward to working with the initiative to share their knowledge and expertise with communities around the world.” – Dr Nick Schofield, IRF CEO.