Presentation to the Rere Falls community

Yesterday, the group was invited by Beef and Lamb to do a presentation to a group of landowners farming around the Rere falls area in Gisborne. This new initiative is looking at protecting the river and enhancing the biodiversity of this part of the Region. Consultants and MFE were attending the meeting with the idea of assisting this fledging group. It was a pleasure to be able to give advice and encourage this community.

Thank you to the Committee for taking the time to come and help with this presentation.

Farmers meeting to progress the Whangawehi covenant

Local farmers involved with the Whangawehi Project gathered today on Okepuha Station to progress the Covenant started a few years ago. This covenant is unique as it has been developed by our landowners who felt uncomfortable using other types of Covenants. After todays’ meeting, the group is confident and  comfortable with the last changes requested and indicated that it was ready for signing. This is a major achievement for the project as this covenant gives protection to the investment made by funders for 25 years. Well done to you all. Signings will take place later on in the spring.

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Birds experts at Whangawehi

On the 16th of August, Tamsin Ward Smith and Kay Grifith, both environmental consultants from Hawkes bay came to Whangawehi for a short site assessment study. Over the past 4 years, the Catchment Group has allowed the retirement of favourable habitats for a number of bird species. In parallel, our pest control activities have grown to allow the bird life to recolonize these protected habitats. The report that will follow this field study will help the group better understand what bird species are likely to come back naturally, which ones are likely to thrive in the habitats available at present time and the steps to follow if we decide to translocate a specific bird specie back into the catchment.This scoping study will give us an insight on what to expect and the nature of the work required ahead of us.

Bird study at Whangawehi

On the 16th of August, Tamsin Ward Smith and Kay Grifith, both environmental consultants from Hawkes bay came to Whanagwehi for a short site assessment study. Over the past 4 years, the Catchment Group has allowed the retirement of favourable habitats for a number of bird species. In parallel, our pest control activities have grown to allow the bird life to recolonize these protected habitats. The report that will follow this field study will help the group better understand what bird species are likely to come back naturally, which ones are likely to thrive in the habitats available at present time and the steps to follow if we decide to translocate a specific bird  specie back into the catchment.This scoping study will give us an insight on what to expect and the nature of the work required ahead of us.

 

Financial Sustainability workshop

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

 

Ministerial visit at Whangawehi

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.

 

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