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.
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.
On Saturday 16th of February, I had the pleasure of driving Sophie Dodd, Rae Te Nahu and Toria Te Nahu to a blessing ceremony organised by Mangaharuru Tangitu Trust. The day went extremely well with the unveiling of a Pou Whenua and the blessing of a funeral site for birds. The WCMG attended a similar event in 2015. It was good to see the project progressing well with birds returning to the colony. Maybe one day, a similar project could take place in the catchment.
On Thursday 13th February 2019, Sir Michael Fay, owner of Pongaroa Station agreed to work with the New Zealand Access Commission to create (along with other landowners) the first official walkway in the catchment. Michael Fay joins Pat & Sue O’Brien who signed on in 2017. Well done to you all. This is a significant milestone in our development and we will keep you up to date with developments as they happen.
Pat O’Brien and Farm Manager Josh Rofe were happy to see Trevor Telfort (our local earth moving contractor) back on Taharoa Trust to blade the fence line for the Mangatupae restoration project. The Mangatupae stream is a highly erodible short and steep catchment. The lower reaches have been already retired with 2 bush blocks but the upper catchment was a challenging beast.
In order to retire the stream, Pat had to retire a substantial amount of land. The stream retirement includes the retirement of an existing bush block of 5 ha. The steep land that will remain grazed by stock is currently being planted with native trees used as soil conservation trees.
The work done will be used to showcase best practise in a steep hill country environment.
On the 5th of December 2018, Ken Orborn signed the Whangawehi Conservation Management Agreement. A big thank you to Ken and the new Forest Manager Lindsay Robinson for embracing our Kaupapa.
This document will give confidence to our sponsors that the investment they have made will be protected for 25 years. The entire restoration area at Whangawehi is now completely convenanted (65 ha in total over 4 estates)
In November 2018, Suzanne Keeling from Beef and Lamb and William MacMillan from FOMA came to meet with Pat O’Brien in regards to a potential research project with the Whangawehi Catchment Management Group. Beef and Lamb current research project is based around 5 key themes;
– The concept of regenerative farming and what it means to the farming community
– Forage systems for the Hill Country.
– New land use classification system
– Community engagement looking at different ways of linking the hill country farming community.
The meeting went very well. Pat indicated that the concept of having research projects on the peninsula was really positive. He encouraged our two guests to connect with the local farming community to develop a research project tailored to meet their needs.
We will keep you up to date about this potential research project.
Back in early November 2018, Janice Edwards and Pat O’Brien laid out our insect traps. This monitoring is done every year as part of the WCMG monitoring programme. It is usually carried out about the same time but due to weather-sometimes the work is delayed. This year we have observed an increase in the number of families captured (7 families have been recorded this year) which is encouraging. The family which was most represented was the Dipterae (flies and mosquitos).
It is encouraging to see that the young forest growing along the river is now increasing the local biodiversity providing a food source for all sorts of creatures. A big thank you to Janice for her commitment, time and patience for a very laborious task of counting large numbers of very tiny bugs. The information provided is extremely valuable as it demonstrates the beneficial change generated by the project overtime.