Lower Kaituna River Diversions
The new control gates that allow freshwater flows from the Kaituna River into Te Awa o Ngātoroirangi/ Maketu Estuary were officially opened with a public celebration on 12 February 2020.
The Kaituna River Re-diversion and Maketū Estuary Enhancement Project was established to significantly increase the volume of freshwater flowing from the Kaituna River into Te Awa o Ngātoroirangi/Maketū Estuary and re-create 20ha of wetland.
Review of the goal of the project, what’s happening at the moment, key contacts, project updates and monitoring and background information and resource consent documents.
The vision for the Kaituna River and Ongatoro/Maketu Estuary Strategy is to ensure that as a wider community our policies and plans, our activities and actions “celebrate and honour Kaituna River and Ongatoro/Maketu Estuary life as taonga – Whakanuia, whakamawawatia te mauri o te Kaituna me Ongatoro hei taonga”.
The Kaituna River and Ongatoro/Maketu Estuary Strategy sets out why people value this environment; their concerns and a vision for its future. The views of the community have formed the backbone of this Strategy. It outlines how the future of the Kaituna River and Ongatoro/Maketu Estuary will be shaped.
The Te Tumu Landowners Group (TTLG) feedback is centred on: (a) Taking into account the wider operating and natural environment and a wide range of potential consequential issues and risks; (b) Taking into account current and future activities and processes; and (c) Taking into consideration the land uses changes that will occur in the lower Kaituna River area over the next 50+ years, the impact of ‘the Project’ will have on these land use changes and the potential for ‘the Project’ to take into account these land use changes to provide wider long term benefits.
Project goal: To re-divert as much of the Kaituna River as possible through Ongatoro/Maketū Estuary, and in the process to create new wetlands, (by 2018) to maximise ecological and community benefits while ensuring the cost and environmental effects are also acceptable. This presentation cover the historical overview, project overview, presentation of options and discussion about Environmental Effects.
As a partner to the Kaituna River and Ongatoro/Maketū Estuary Strategy, Bay of Plenty Regional Council has set up a Project Team to implement the strategic and management options assigned to it through the Strategy. The goal of the Kaituna River Re-diversion and Wetland Creation Project is: To re-divert as much of the Kaituna River as possible through Ongatoro/Maketū Estuary, and in the process to create new wetlands, (by 2018) to maximise ecological and community benefits while ensuring the cost and environmental effects are also acceptable. This report presents two options to achieve this goal. Bay of Plenty Regional Council is currently seeking feedback from landowners, iwi, stakeholders and the wider community to help determine the scope and direction of further investigations. The options will be studied in detail to assess their environmental effects compared with the existing situation, and prepare applications for resource consents and other ermissions required to carry out the work.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council intends to re-divert almost a quarter of the Kaituna River’s flow back into Ongatoro/Maketū Estuary. The extra water is predicted to improve the estuary’s health and will restore some of the mauri of the area by allowing salt marsh and other wetlands to return; create more suitable conditions for a range of shellfish and fish species; and may reduce the rate at which sand fills in the estuary.
The lower Kaituna River and Ongatoro/Maketū Estuary could be a hive of activity this month when it is surveyed to collect data on the area. Bay of Plenty Regional Council staff and contractors will survey the lower Kaituna River and all of Ongatoro/Maketū Estuary to collect data that will help improve what’s known about the area, including depth, salinity and currents.
The regional council is about to have another go at the Kaituna River mouth, altering the river so part of the flow goes through the Maketu estuary to the sea. The committee adopted an engineer’s report presented to the Operations Monitoring and Regulations Committee, recommending the ‘maximum flow, partial diversion’ which is option two in a report by consulting engineer Steve Everitt.