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 :

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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.

Walkway update

On Tuesday the 25th of September, thanks to Bevan Parker (Farm Manager on Pongaroa Station) a meeting took place with Michael Fay’s Management Team.  The reason for this meeting was to progress the discussion around the walkway through the conservation area. Bevan explained how the walkway would bring a raft of benefits to the Mahia community in which the team completely agreed with.  They were impressed by the drive and passion of the community to get to this point so far and the international recognition received to date. We discussed the possibility of a meat brand and how the walkway would be the best way to share this story with the wider community and the overseas buyers.

The next step involves the landowners agreeing on an easement to be surveyed and registered. From a landowner’s perspective, this is a huge decision and the WCMG acknowledges that. In the meantime, the group is hopeful that other landowners are going to be supportive of the concept by jumping on board.

A big thank you to Bevan and to Michael Fay’s management team for taking the time to listen to this initiative. Mahia would be grateful if they could partner with us on this journey to create a walkway for everyone to enjoy for many years to come.

 

New entrance for the Whangawehi

On Saturday the 1st September, the Whangawehi community banded together for a very productive working bee. The aim of the day was to spruce up the entry way into the conservation project alongside the Whangawehi bridge. There had been some dissatisfaction murmured amongst members that the gateway to such an award-winning conservation project needed to look much more impressive. That gave the six families and the army of children that turned up on the day- more than enough motivation to help create the right look for the entry way.

The weather played ball. Despite the amazing weather, the group underestimated how long it would take to remove the long agapanthus hedge (and its roots) next to the road side-even with the help of a handy tractor driver. The new post and railing fence built in its place more than justified the time lost because it looked very smart and impressive when it was finished. The school planting site was beautified with some much-needed weeding and the addition of a new access site. On the Pongaroa Station side of the river the weeds were taken to with a vengeance and old poplars removed with a chainsaw.

A huge thank you to the Whangawehi community that rolled up their sleeves for this working bee. The results achieved to date are linked directly to a small but passionate community and despite its size are producing huge results on a national and international level.