Please find attached an article published in the Wairoa Star in February 2021.
Enjoy the reading
On the 1st of March 2021, Southern Star Trail started gravelling the Whangawehi walkway. First a special membrane is laid on the ground and the gravel spread over it. The gravel is then compacted and rolled. The finish product looks really nice. Southern Star Trail use a purpose made trailer towed behind a small tractor to ferry the gravel up and down the walkway. It is going to be a long process and we hope that the work will be finished before the end of April.
While the graveling is underway, there is still 800 m of track to open below the hut.
A big thank you to Southern Star Trail for the quality of their work.
On Wednesday the 24th of February 2021, Nic attended a Zoom meeting with Vanessa Crowe from the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). EPA is in the process of launching a new water monitoring technique called EDNA that consists in sampling the DNA present in the water. This technique is extremely powerful as it indicates the species present not only in the streams but also on land. This tool could be very valuable and complementary to all our other monitoring tools. This sampling technique could be done via the local school if there was an interest. This one off project is free of charge and could start in the next 3 weeks.
Kia ora koutou,
On the 4th of February 2021, the walkway is well advanced. Scott, Southern Star Trail’s foreman is on Homestead and will be on Taharoa’s boundary next week. Charly and Alex are behind laying out culverts and compacting the track.
The progression is impressive and we are looking forward to the beginning of the gravelling which should start in the next couple of weeks.
On Wednesday the 3rd of February, Pat O’Brien Chair of the WCMG, Nuku Hadfield and Peter McCarthy from the Guardians of the Ruakituri river-along with Nic Caviale Delzescaux (Project Coordinator for WCMG) presented their proposals to the HBRC Integrated Catchment Committee. A big thank you to all the Councilors and HBRC team for their support.
You can listen to the presentation here :
On the 1st of February 2021, Bevan Parker, Farm Manager on Pongaroa Station, witnessed his first bittern on the property while mustering. This is an exciting news for the Whangawehi community as the group has been trying to attract this very rare bird for years.
Our old people recall the bird when they where young (1940s) but it hasn’t been observed since then. After nearly 7 years of active habitat restoration and pest control, the Whangawehi Catchment Group can now rejoice that one of its long lost residents is back. Well done Whangawehi team!
On Wednesday the 27th of January 2021, Susan Wylie came to Mahia to meet with the community members who are behind the Whangawehi walkway. Susan is working on a March Edition and tried to meet as many people as possible. We are looking forward to reading this first promotional document. A big thank you to our landowners who have made the time to meet and Susan for selecting our project.
On Tuesday the 26 th of January, Cameron Osmond and Kate Jefferd from MBIE came to check up on the progress made along the whangawehi walkway. Southern Star trail as well as local fencers are doing a fantastic job despite the extreme heat. Malcolm Smith was also on site and shared his passion for the project with the group. A big thank you to Cameron and Kate for their support.
On the 14th of January 2021, Elizabeth Pishief from Heritage Services, Archaeologist working for Heritage NZ, came to Whangawehi.
The goal of her visit was to sample a midden recently uncovered during the construction of the walkway and check if the work was carried out as indicated in our archaeological management plan.
The midden is made out of small size cockles and Tuatara with some fish bones. The study will hopefully tell us a bit more about the diet of our ancestors. We will keep you posted.
A big thank you to Liz for her support.
On the 14th of January 2021, the walkway has progressed quite fast thanks to the expertise of Southern Star Trails staff. Josh Knauf, local fencer can hardly keep up with the momentum ! He is shifting fences and installing gates for track maintenance. The front part of the walkway has been retired due to the presence of significant archaeological sites. A big thank you to Pongaroa Station for being extremely accommodating during the construction phase.