On Friday the 27th of September, Janice Edwards 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 every year. Several sites are assessed every year and the information collected helps us better understand how the insect population responds to our large scale restoration programme. Insects are extremely important as they are the food source for a number of other species that we are hoping to bring back.
A big thank you to Janice for her commitment to this very meticulous work.
With spring on its way, it is good to look back and contemplate what we have achieved this winter. We can Pat the Taharoa Trust and the Whangawehi community for the amazing work done consistently winter after winter stream after stream. Well done to you all. Have a look at this clip and enjoy. I will edit an update on the work done on Pongaroa Station soon.
On Wednesday the 11th of September 2019, Helen Jonas and Hawaiki Walker from DOC went with Nic to the Whangawehi stream to carry out some white bait work. The spawning site was fenced off in 2014 but still remains marginal in terms of the quality of its habitat for white bait spawning. The hot spot is a short 100 m stretch of river where the fresh water mixes up with the salt water. White baits lay their eggs in the vegetation growing on the river bank during king tides. The eggs need to be exposed to the air to be able to mature.
Today, the team laid several hay bales and pegged them firmly to the banks. The idea is to offer a favourable environment for the fish to come back and lay their eggs. The river banks have been eroded over the years (due to floods and storms) and offer upright papa surfaces with no vegetation. We hope that this trial will be successful.
Local white baiters Nathan and Wayne explained that last year was an exceptionally good year for white bait. This year, fishing has started off fairly slow. Nathan was really impressed by the extensive plantings and explained that the water was cleaner and the fish more abundant. Having spent more time along the river recently, he has noticed more and more cats and stoats so we need to improve our pest control work.
A big thank you to Helen and Hawaiki from DOC for their help. Enjoy the photos and the short video clip
On Friday the 30th of August, Nicky Bell , Steve Ryan and Pete Krzanich gathered at the end of Happy Jack road in Mahanga to plant 250 trees by the beach. A big thank you to the Mahanga Marae, landowners and HBRC for making this project a reality.
The Whangawehi catchment is looking amazing in this late winter early spring. Our trees are growing well everywhere! The newly retired Mangatupae stream was planted in July 2019 with a mixture of manuka and podocarps. The trees have been recently release sprayed and are looking great. The wetland planted in May 2019 during a community planting day is doing extremely well as well. The open water created in January is already attracting a large number of ducks.
As you can see on the photos, Josh Rofe, Manager on Taharoa Trust is already docking marking the beginning of a new season.
The trees planted on Okepuha Station two years ago are looking extremely healthy. Richard and Hannah are busy raising the next generation of caretakers for their retired areas!
It has been a very busy with for Bevan on Pongaroa Station with 15 ha retired in 2 tributaries to the Whangawehi stream and 5 ha retired in the Wainui catchment. The bush block by the woolshed has been extended by retiring an adjoining wetland.
The regenerating Hill Country team wants to extend their thanks to the Whangawehi Catchment Management Group and all of the people who gave their time and hospitality whislt they were visiting in Te Mahia this week. Henrik, Katherine and Ang met with farmers, kaitiaki and agencies to learn about the work of the WCMG and the vision for the future of Te Mahia and surrounding Hill landscape. This work is part of a longer term project researching how best to future proof hill country farming and communities.
Henrik and his team will get back to us with a report /summary of their findings. Thank you all for your support.
On the 15th of August 2019, Georgia a Masters student from Massey came to establish 300 native trees as a trial on Pongaroa Station. Trees included : Mahoe, Taupata, Fivefingers and Griselina. This trial is part of a Beef and Lamb Research funded project sitting under the umbrella of the Regenerative hill country landscape. Georgia will be monitoring tree growth and nutritional value during the next couple of years. These trees are potential food source for stock if managed appropriately. We will keep you updated on Georgia’s findings.
The retirement of three gully systems on Pongaroa Station is nearly completed. Bevan Parker, farm Manager is embracing the Whangawehi Kaupapa and retired this winter the Top Wainui gully and 2 large gully systems tributaries to the Whangawehi stream bringing the total area protected to 20 ha. These retired areas will be covenanted under a Queen Elizabeth II covenant which will protect these blocks for perpetuity.
The Whangawehi gullies have been fenced off with support from HBRC, QEII and landowners contribution. A big thank you to Malcolm Rutherford and Kevin Jones who offered guidance around historical sites.
Well done to Bevan and his team for their dedication and commitment to protect our unique natural and historical heritage.