Pongaroa Station is undertaking a large scale restoration programme. This winter, 15 ha of land will be retired including two significant tributaries to the Whangawehi stream. These two retirement projects include native bush blocks that will be protected under a Queen Elizabeth covenant. The Top Wainui bush block will also be fenced off and protected. The level of protection around the Ormond bush block (by the woolshed) owned by George Ormond and Pongaroa Station will be improved with a deer fence being added on top of the existing fence. More work is planned in the Wai nui catchment so watch this space.
In March 2019, a group of students from Gisborne Girls High School came to Mahia to walk along the Whangawehi walkway. Carolyne Rofe their teacher explained that the girls enjoyed their time despite the long grasses! They will be back once the walk way is permanently opened.
Thank you for your encouragement
On Tuesday the 23d and Wednesday the 24th of April 2019, Will McMillan and Henrik Moller came to visit the Whangawehi project and meet with members of our community. Beef and Lamb is leading a Research project on regenerative hill country landscapes and will work with our Whangawehi farming community in the near future.
A big thank you to all our landowners for making the time to meet with them.
Kia ora koutou,
Please find below our latest water monitoring data (2 sites only). You will see that the lower reaches of the stream are in excellent conditions thanks to the retirement work. Well done to you all.
On Wednesday the 20th of March 2019, Ken Osborn, Managing Director for Grandy Lake Forest, signed the letter of intent allowing the walkway project to progress in the forest. This is a great news. A big thank you to Ken and Lindsay Robinson, new Forest Manager for Grandy Lake Forest for allowing the Whangawehi walkway to proceed. We will keep you posted on the next steps
The Mangatupae stream is a short & steep gully system generating a lot of erosion and faecal contamination. Located on Taharoa Trust, the owners (Pat & Sue O’Brien) fenced off the lower reaches in 2016 but the upper catchment was left in the too had basket to take on at the time. In 2019, with the generous support from Hawkes Bay Regional Council and NW Rahui it was decided to retire the entire gully system. The fencer is currently in the process of building a conventional fence. The total area retired is 15 ha and includes a 5 ha bush block. The plantings will be quite different from the riparian plants established along the river. Sue O’Brien has taken a different approach and opted for a multi floral, bee friendly block with plants sustaining live all year long. Manuka, Koromiko and kanuka will be a nursery crop for larger species including Rimu, Matai, Kowhai, Riwa Riwa amongst others. Tree establishment will take place early June 2019.
The WCMG is preparing a community planting day on the 4th of May on one of Taharoa’s wetland and all volunteers are welcome to come and help. Located on the back of Sue O’Brien’s garden, this wetland will be enhanced with the addition of 5000 plants.
A long reach digger was recently brought in to dig a few holes in the wetland in order to create an open water space. This will be important for our local biodiversity but our biggest hope is to attract birds. This wetland has been taken over by a native weed Isolepia that smothers the swamp. This new open water area should give other species the opportunity to grow and thrive again. Open water will also be extremely attrctive to ducks. These wetlands are a eel nursery for the Whangawehi river. We are particularly hoping that the rare bittern will be attracted by this enhancement work.
On Friday the 16th of March, the WCMG gathered at the Mokotaki hall to celebrate winning it’s International Asia/Pacific River prize award. We were privileged to have the company of our founding leader, Kathleen Mato who surprised everyone by turning up from Gisborne. She is very proud of what we have achieved to date. The evening went very well and gave everyone the opportunity to take the time to enjoy each others company, reflect on the work done and celebrate what we have achieved.
Kia ora Whanau,
The conservation work is continuing with more wetlands, streams and bush blocks retired. Enjoy the viewing.