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Tears of joy and sorrow at wetland opening

Media release
20 June 2005

Tears of joy and sorrow at wetland opening

Tears from the sky rained upon the Manawa Wetland Reserve Extension at its official opening on Saturday.

Heavy rain was ideal weather to illustrate the ultimate purpose of the constructed wetland - to cleanse pollutants in stormwater draining from the roadsides and gutters.

Many at the gathering of local and national politicians, conservationists, artists, residents (including ducks and pukekos) agreed that the urban wetland at New Lynn is a significant turning point in the ecological renewal of Waitakere City.

“This is a link, I hope the first of many projects that will see the biodiversity in urban areas increase by leaps and bounds. As things progress, there will be a range of insects and fantails will be two a penny,” said newly elected national president of Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society Dr Peter Maddison.

Dr Maddison intends to monitor the biodiversity of the new wetland’s animals and plants.

For the Manawa Wetland Advisory Committee, the project represents seven and a half years of collaboration with the council. “It’s been a long haul, but it’s worth it,” says representative Bob Neville.

Resident Theresa Dee is delighted with the reserve. “It’s now a lovely place to visit and already the birdlife is flocking here. I’ve seen gold finches, chaffinches and herons as well as pukekos and ducks.”

During the official speeches, Councillor Penny Hulse acknowledged New Lynn’s famed industrialist Sir Tom Clark, who died last week: “it’s as if the raindrops are tears for Sir Tom who’s being buried on Monday,” she said.

About the Manawa Wetland

New Lynn was once the ceramic centre for the region and the clay used for bricks and crockery came from here. The quarrying for clay is long over and the enormous pit left behind in Margan Avenue, has been partly filled in. In 1999 part of this old quarry site was transformed through a Council/community initiative into a wetland and park known as Manawa Wetland Reserve. In 2000, the reserve won an ARC environmental award.

Today, you can almost walk on water using the rock "weirs" which provide a place to watch the ducks, pukeko, and eels.
Council purchased the .8 hectare vacant site at 6 Margan Avenue, New Lynn in 2003 for the purpose of stormwater remediation and it is now being developed as an extension to the existing reserve. The Concept Plan for the reserve was developed in conjunction with the local community and was adopted by the New Lynn Community Board in August 2004.

The reserve comprises an open flat grass area for recreation and community gatherings, a large planted wetland with a boardwalk-maze, pathways, picnic tables and trees. Two planted swales carry local stormwater from Margan Avenue and Melview Place across the site into the wetland. From the wetland, the water will flow out down a spillway into the existing ponds in Manawa Wetland Reserve.

The Concept Plan also includes a pergola, which will added to the reserve when funding is available. The Parks Department will continue working with the local community and the New Lynn Community Board to investigate future funding options to design and build the pergola.

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