A few weeks ago, Gerard Quinn and Will Allen helped the group find ways of becoming financially sustainable. This facilitation work was funded by Hawkes Bay Regional Council, thank you to Campbell Leckie and Nathan Heath for supporting the group.
Gerard’s report is now available so enjoy the reading : WCMG Funding Sustainability Report
From Minister Scott Simpson : http://www.beehive.govt.nz
The final phase of a collaborative project protecting and enhancing fresh water and coastal ecosystems along the Whangawehi Stream on the Mahia Peninsula is being supported by $145,000 from the Community Environment Fund, Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson says.
“The Government is committed to working with local communities, councils and iwi to sustain our waterways and ecosystems. In the upper Whangawehi catchment, people are working together to mitigate the impact from all land users in the catchment, including a new waste water plant, and to coordinate environmental work and education in the community,” Mr Simpson says.
This final year of the Whangawehi Catchment Restoration Project involves improving water quality in the head waters of the Whangawehi catchment by fencing and planting 10.2 hectares of riverside habitat and creating connectivity between the different ecosystems already protected.
On Okepuha Station 23,000 native trees will be planted along the margin of the Whangawehi Stream inside 4 kilometres of stock exclusion fencing. Ten newly purchased traps will be laid out within the 10.2ha fenced area to reduce pest pressure and allow the return of indigenous biodiversity in the Whangawehi upper catchment.
The project has previously received Government funding from both the Community Environment Fund (in 2015) and Te Mana o Te Wai (2016-17) for projects in the lower and middle Whangawehi catchment areas.
Over the past seven years the project has achieved significant improvements in water quality in the Whangawehi Stream and in protecting native plants and animals. The community has seen increased schools of whitebait, more abundant long fin eels and a 15 per cent increase in the recreational status of the water quality.
“I was delighted that the Group was rewarded by winning the Supreme Award at the recent 2017 Green Ribbon awards as well as the award for Caring for our Water”.
The Governments target of 90 per cent swimmable rivers and lakes by 2040 is going to require 1000km of rivers be improved every year for the next 23 years. The Whangawehi Catchment Management Group is a powerful example of what is possible. I look forward to the completion of this final part of the restoration and the benefits it will bring to local iwi and communities.
Last week, Pat and Sue O’Brien paid Kathleen Mato a visit in Gisborne. Kathleen was very proud for the group to have received the Supreme Award at the Green Ribbon Awards. Kathleen received quite a few Awards during her time as the Leader of the Group. Well done Kathleen for the Legacy you leave.
Water monitoring was carried out at Whangawehi. Faecal contamination is bellow acceptable limit for recreational purposes which is surprisingly good. Water sampling was done after a long rain event and it is good to see that our riparian strips and fences are doing a good job. During the sampling, we observed quite a few geese dwelling in several tributaries. Surprisingly enough, these tributaries had higher than average E Coli levels. The geese population will have to be controlled if we want to reduce our faecal contamination in the waterways.
Te Mahia School students have done an amazing job today at Whangawehi. Under a shinning sun, they established 200 trees and maintained the trees planted in the previous years. The Weta motels built during the winter were established along a fence line with the idea of using the wetas as monitoring tools.
At the end of the planting, the students sang the Whangawehi song they created, it was amazing to hear this very special song along the river.
Well done to you all, thank you to the School team, parents and Whangawehi volunteers.
Enjoy the photos. Years after years, I can see our tamariki growing and with them the seeds of a better future.
Kia ora Koutou,
As you probably all know, on the 10th of June, the Whangawehi Catchment Management Group was awarded two significant awards. The group won the Award in the “Caring for our water category” and the Supreme Award for 2017. These awards mean a lot to us, a lot of hard work has been put into the project by all our volunteers, landowners, Marae representatives and we are all so happy. A big thank you to you all who have given your time for the group to succeed.
The evening ceremony was an exceptional moment for me. This nomination was the 4th in a row and I was wondering if one day I would be on stage! It paid to be patient.
I was a bit speechless when Minister Nick Smith gave us the Supreme Award but Pat O’Brien did a good job in acknowledging the work done by the community. Well done to you all.
Here is the whakatauki I shared during my brief speech for the “Caring for our waters” Award :
Ma te tumanako
Ma te titiro
Ma te whakarongo
Ma te mahitahi
Ma te manawanui
Ma te aroha
ka taea e au
By believing and trusting
By having faith and hope
By looking and searching
By listening and hearing
By working and striving together
By patience and perseverance
By doing this with love and compassion
We can succeed
A big thank you to all the volunteers who came to support the Whangawehi planting on Okepuha Station. The weather was challenging but overall we established 5 500 trees in 5 hours. Richard Coop organised a very generous barbe to make sure all our volunteers had enough energy to complete the task! Holes had been pre dug a couple of days before the event by Malcolm Westerlund who saved us a lot of energy.
The trees planted include some majestic species Totara, Kahikatea, Matai and other smaller species. The rest of the trees will established in the next few weeks.
Thank you all for your contribution.
The planting day on Okepuha Station is going ahead with some good weather hopefully.
Date : 17th of June 2017
Location : Okepuha Station 1782 Mahia East Coast Road
See flyer attached : WhangawehiPlanting2017
Please give me a call if you need any more information.
Thank you for your support.