Kaituna Korero e-newsletter

First sod turned on Kaituna River re-diversion

More than 100 people, including representatives from six Te Arawa iwi, gathered at Tukotahi Marae on 12 June to celebrate the start of construction works that will return freshwater flows from the river into Te Awa o Ngatoroirangi Maketū Estuary.

Work to set up a construction depot is now underway in the paddock beside Tukotahi Marae. The re-diversion project will not affect existing levels of flood protection for adjacent farmland or Maketū township. Boating access through Te Tumu Cut will be maintained.

Closures during construction

Ford Road end and the Ford Road boat ramp will be closed due to construction works from 1 August. The road will re-open by 20 December 2018.

The boat ramp will remain closed until project completion in June 2020. Alternative access is available at the Bell Road boat ramp.

Community update meeting – 1 August

The next quarterly meeting to update the community about re-diversion works will be held on 1 August, 5.30pm at Tukotahi marae (83 Ford Road, beside the Ford Road boat ramp car park).

Further project details are also available calling the Kaituna Catchments team on 0800 884 880.

Archaeology discovery – Otaiparia Pā

Site set-up earthworks have already uncovered an historic site known as Otaiparia which includes kūmara storage pits, fire hearths and hangi stones. Cultural monitors and archaeologists have been on site, recording the find and supervising the earthworks to prevent damage.

Kaituna River Document launched

The new Kaituna River Document was approved and celebrated by Te Maru o Kaituna River Authority on 22 June. The document, Kaituna, he taonga tuku iho – a treasure handed down, is an outcome of the Tapuika Claims Settlement Act 2014.

The document sets out an iwi and community vision, objectives and desired outcomes for the Kaituna River and its tributaries. Te Maru o Kaituna River Authority wishes to thank everyone who took the time to have their say, both in written submissions and at the hearings. 

Papahikahawai planting days

Three successful planting days have been held at Papahikahawai Island on 24 June, 1 and 17 July. A huge thank you to Te Runanga o Ngati Whakaue ki Maketū who co-ordinated the events and to all the volunteers that have helped get 20,000 native plants into the ground this year.

The Papahikahawai No. 1 and 2 Trusts (representing the Māori landowners) signed up to a 25 year restoration partnership with Regional Council and Ngā Whenua Rāhui in 2016. The partners are investing a shared total of $540,000 over the first ten years of the project, to restore water levels and replant the island.

This was the third year of a planting programme that will add a total of 50,000 native trees and shrubs to the island. More than 8,000 square metres of ‘instant saltmarsh’ was also created on the island last month by transplanting sea rush plants from the future Te Paika wetland. See project details at www.boprc.govt.nz/papahikahawai

Landowner action for cleaner water

Regional Council Land Management staff have been meeting one-on-one with landowners in the Paraiti, Mangorewa and Puanene sub-catchments to discuss concerns and options for improving water quality in the Kaituna River and its tributaries. The meetings have been prompted by water quality monitoring that found elevated levels of nutrient, sediment and bacteria in parts of the Kaituna Catchment.

Staff have been contacting the contributing landowners, sharing the results with them, and offering practical advice and funding support through Council’s Riparian Management Programme to help them reduce run-off impacts from their properties through methods that can include fencing, planting, stock crossing upgrades, treatment wetlands and detention dams.

Landowners in the areas of greatest concern are being contacted first and the work will be extended throughout the catchment over time. But interested landowners don’t need to wait; they can contact their local Land Management Officer for riparian management support anytime by calling 0800 884 880.

The Maketū Hoe Waka Club have temporarily relocated from Ford Road to Kaituna River Road during the Kaituna re-diversion construction period. That means they’ll be training upstream of the Bell Road boat ramp more often than before.

Some of the waka are very long and can span across most of the river’s width when turning, so speed boats should be prepared to slow down and manoeuvre around them at all times.

The five knot speed rule applies wherever two vessels are within 50 metres of each other. See more on boating rules at www.boprc.govt.nz/safeboating

Te Pourepo o Kaituna wetland progress

Regional Council contractors planted up the edges of six hectares of new open water pond areas at the Lower Kaituna Wildlife Management Reserve last week.

Earthworks to create the ponds was completed earlier this year; restoring marginal grazing land into wetland habitat for birds and fish life, while also supplying sand for the nearby Kaituna Re-diversion project. A second round of sand extraction and further pond creation work is starting this month.

$4.5m funding for the wider 73 hectare Te Pourepo o Kaituna wetland restoration project has now been approved through Regional Council’s 2018-28 Long Term Plan. The project will start with concept planning, consultation and resource consent processes in 2018/19. See project details here >