24.05.2005: Waitete Clean-up Explained


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Hauraki Herald, May 24, 2005

Waitete clean-up explained

LAND owners whose properties back onto the Waitete Stream met with officials beside the stream last Friday.

The Waitete Clean Stream Restoration Project will eventually see the stream banks retired from grazing and establish an indigenous vegetation corridor from its upper catchment to the confluence with the Ohinemuri.

Ongoing maintenance of weeds as well as pest control will also continue.

The land owners heard that the most abrupt changes to streams come when they are fenced off from stock.

The absence of stock contributes towards improved water quality and prevents rocks from embedding. A second major change is when plants grow tall enough to shade and cool the water, reducing algae growth. Insects and plant debris also produce food for water life.

"We want to create an eco corridor to draw native birds and other wild life in," says coordinator Andrew Jenks.

The project is a joint partnership between Newmont Waihi Gold, Environment Waikato, Hauraki District Council and Waihi Walkways, with the aim that the stream section of the walkway will eventually link to other walks.

Supporting the partnership are the Habitat Enhancement and Landcare Programme, the National Institute of Water and Atmosphere Research and local schools as part of their curriculum.

Waihi Gold has supplied plants through its HELP Programme, while schools have also assisted by growing and planting thousands of manukas, kanukas, five-fingers, titokis, kauris, koromikos, rewarewa, and other natives on the banks.

Using equipment donated by Newmont Waihi Gold, local students are working on a five-year water monitoring research project and their findings will provide valuable data, providing a benchmark to identify improvements.

"Land owners were very enthusiastic about the project," says Mr Jenks.

"We wanted to bring land owners together so they would get the same information at the same time, informing them of the benefits gained through this and explaining how the community, school children and Habitat Enhancement and Landcare Partnership are involved in the process."

Land owner Tony Belcher was already interested in developing his connection to the stream before the meeting was called.

"I'm more than happy to work with them in getting this planting done," he said.

Waitete clean-up meeting

Waihi Walkways photo.

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