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Punatarakao wetland working bee

November 18, 2008



Punatarakao wetland working bee

A group of volunteers clearing gorse, broom and willows from a wetland near Waimate, South Canterbury, has had a major impact on an important cultural site of the Waihao Runanga.

The area along Buchanan’s Creek includes the area around Punatarakao, which was historically an important food-gathering site, and is close to the original Pa. 

Last week’s working bee included members of the Waihao Wainono Water Users Society and the Waihao Runanga.

The society is facilitated by Environment Canterbury (ECan) which hopes that more native plantings will be able to take place over the next two spring seasons.

“The volunteers cleared the area of dense willows and planted natives around four years ago, but little maintenance has taken place since and the weeds returned,” says Ecan’s resource care co-ordinator Julia Laming.

She says the existing plants are progressing well, with many up to waist height.

“Once the project is complete, we expect to have a wetland which is home to all the native species of flora and fauna which existed there in the past.  Past investigations have identified 26 species of fish in Te Punatarakao.  We also hope that native birds will return to the wetland,” says Julia Laming.

The aim of the project is to create a sanctuary for native wildlife and a place where people will be able to go and relax and enjoy the site in its natural state.


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