The International RiverFoundation will award a New Zealand Riverprize for the first time in 2015, providing reward and recognition to those who have achieved outstanding results in the restoration or protection of New Zealand’s rivers.
The New Zealand Riverprize is worth NZ$20,000 and is sponsored by the Morgan Foundation. Any organisation or group involved in river, wetland, lake, or estuary restoration or protection is encouraged to apply.
“While the government has recently confirmed freshwater objectives and minimum standards, we’re involved in establishing the New Zealand Riverprize to encourage and recognise communities, regional councils and, in some cases, individuals who demonstrate excellence in river management,” says Dr Gareth Morgan.
Riverprize applications will be judged by a panel of experts on a range of criteria including demonstrable aquatic ecosystem health improvements, socio-economic initiatives, governance, innovation and long-term vision. In its first year, the judging panel will be chaired by Gayle Wood, who has many years of experience as a Riverprize judge.
The winner of the 2015 New Zealand Riverprize will be announced at the 18th International Riversymposium in Brisbane, and will automatically qualify for the second stage of the prestigious Thiess International Riverprize.
The International RiverFoundation awards the Australian Riverprize, the European Riverprize and the Thiess International Riverprize annually. Riverprizeawards are intended to not only give reward to those who are achieving outstanding results in river restoration and protection, but to provide those organisations with the appropriate recognition and prestige to enable them to build new partnerships and expand and improve their programs so that they may continue to achieve ongoing success.
“The winner will become a valued member of the IRF Riverprize alumni network, a group of high achieving river practitioners from around the globe who share a range of practical, informative and inspiring knowledge and experiences,” said Dr Nick Schofield, Chief Executive Officer of the International RiverFoundation. The Morgan Foundation also runs the New Zealand River Awards, which focus on the most improved rivers in New Zealand in terms of water quality. The Awards are based on an examination of the data to find the most improved rivers and waterways in each region and nationally based on a single indicator. In contrast to Riverprize, an application is not required for the NZ River Awards – every officially monitored waterway is automatically evaluated by the Award’s judging panel.
Riverprize applications can be submitted online from late 2014 – visit www.riverfoundation.org.au for more details.