WCMG wins the Pacific International River Awards

Representatives of the Whangawehi who attended the Asia Pacific International River Prize awards dinner last Tuesday evening in Sydney were ecstatic to win the Pacific category.  The group was grateful just to have been chosen as a finalist but was blown out of the water when they were announced as winners. The judges were very impressed with just how well the group collaborated with tangata whenua, the community and it’s sponsors along with it’s on the ground work which is diligently monitored.

This Awards has allowed the group to be part of the Alumni network, a network of river practitioners who operate all around the world. This will certainly help the group raise its profile and extend its ability to operate at a higher level.

As the winner of the Awards, the WCMG has also been encouraged by the International River Foundation to develop a relationship with a sister project in a foreign country. Passing on the knowledge was a consistent theme during the evening ceremony and several twin projects were presented during the symposium.  This support offers an opportunity for the WCMG to influence one of it’s pacific neighbours.

A big thank you to all involved.

Media release :

AsiaPacificRiverAwardsWairoaStarOctober2018

A big thank you to all who have been involved, it is a wonderful achievement.

 

Whangawehi bridge enhancement

On Saturday the 8th of October, a small group of hard core Whangawehi members gathered at the Whangawehi bridge to finish off building the new railing fence which was started on the day of the working bee. The work involved digging several holes in solid hard ground and it’s no wonder that the beer afterwards was well received. Well done to you all and thank you for your commitment.

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Catchment update

As you can see from the photo’s-all our trees have grown a lot over the winter period. They are flourishing and there is nothing stopping them now. Water is flowing very clear in the Whangawehi stream but algae are already starting to pop up at Mamangu which is a bit early.

A new tree species-the Poroporo-is now growing along the river which has been self-introduced by birds. Poroporo is a native tree already present in the DOC reserve. A small scrub-the Poroporo is traditionally a very valuable plant to Maori because of it’s itch relief properties. It’s a delightful looking plant that is known to grow extremely fast.

It is great to see that the cycle of nature is taking place and allowing the diversification of our local biodiversity.

 

Whangawehi AGM

On Saturday the 8th of October, The Whangawehi Catchment Management Group held its Annual General Meeting. The attendees have re elected the same people as the head of the Committee.

Pat O’Brien : Chairperson

Rae Te Nahu : Secretary

Peter Manosn : Treasurer

Pat in his annual speech thanked everybody for their contribution and hard work. He also stated that he is looking forward to  new projects which are due to take place over the next few months. Thank you all for your input.

A&P Show expo

The ‘Farming with Technology Expo’ once again seems to have attracted the rain and lots of it! This year, the novelty was a display on alternative water supplies set up by Go Water from Wairoa. This system allows water to pump out of a stream with a 12V submersible battery connected to a 28KW solar panel. There is no battery involved and the switch stops the pump when the tank is full. The head for this pump is only 3 meters but a wide range of products are available. This innovation should help farmers make better decisions when it comes to fencing off their streams and managing their stock water supply.

The other innovations were the Manson’s tree protector developed by Peter Manson in Wairoa. This protector allows the establishment of a range of trees including native trees in a farmed environment. This is a revolution for the sector and a break through in terms of tree establishment on farms. Farmers have now more options rather than just the traditional poplars and willows.

The flood fence is another good on farm innovation, see the photos for more details but it allow the fence to be self dismantled during a flood event and easy to rebuild afterwards.

 

Mahia Pest Free community meeting 14th of April at Tuahuru Marae

MAHIA peninsula could be an ideal area for a large scale pest eradication programme says the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council. In 2016, the government proposed a $28 million project-to make New Zealand predator free by 2050. The project was aimed at ridding New Zealand of possums, rats, stoats and other introduced species to help the goal of predator free New Zealand become a reality. Hawke’s Bay Regional Council manager land services Campbell Leckie said achieving this goal would deliver huge benefits across the country, particularly to threatened native species. “Due to its isolated geographical configuration, the Mahia peninsula could be an ideal area for a large scale pest eradication programme,” Mr Leckie said. “Back in the 1990s, a project involving a predator fence didn’t get enough community support to get off the ground.”

The regional council has been involved with pest control in Mahia for many years and has organised a series of community meetings. Mr Leckie encouraged feedback from the community about a pest free Mahia vision. “The meeting will discuss a range of elements of a potential pest free project including pest control techniques, community benefits, funding and the importance of community support. “One potential funder from a petroleum company OMV NZ Ltd will be present to discuss their interest in participating in the project, should it proceed.” Mr Leckie said the Mahia pest free project was an exciting opportunity for the community to be involved in a cutting edge ecological restoration project. “It can only work if local landowners, Hapu and Iwi participate in, show leadership and help shape the direction of a Pest Free programme.

“This is an opportunity for locals to leave an impressive conservation legacy for future generations to come. Come along, ask your questions, air your concerns. Bring your family and whanau. Hot drinks and finger food will be provided.”

The first meeting will take place on Saturday April 14 from 9.30am-12pm at Tuahuru Marae for the Rongomaiwahine Iwi Trust.

The second meeting will be open to the wider community and will take place on the same day and at the same venue from 1-3.30pm.

Suzi Lewis

Journalist

The Wairoa Star Ltd

 

School workshop on rocky shores

On March 28, Te Mahia school pupils headed off to Auroa Point at low tide to investigate the diversity of life on the coast near Whangawehi River Mouth. Identifying the names of various sea stars, crabs, seaweeds and other creatures proved challenging but engaging. On the grassy bank, they completed our recording sheets. Back at school the seniors heard about how much more there was to be found and the density of kaimoana 30 years ago compared to today. They prepared to graph their findings.

The juniors realised that there were a lot more different creatures in the rock pools than they expected. They made salt dough animals and seaweeds, focusing on features like number of legs etc. The workshop will be extended at school in the next few days. Well done for your mahi.