Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Conservation Minister opens new wetland at Ohaaki

At 12.30pm today, the Minister of Conservation, Hon Kate Wilkinson officially opened a newly constructed wetland in the Ohaaki region and praised Fish & Game NZ and Contact Energy for their efforts in the establishment of what she calls “a natural resource of critical importance as wetlands are one the most threatened habitats in New Zealand.”

The upper Waikato is estimated to have lost 200 hectares of riverside wetland over the past decade, says Eastern Fish & Game Council Chairman Barry Roderick, “so the Ohaaki wetland project focused on recreating the type of wetland once found in the region.”

Established on 35 hectares of land beside the Waikato River, the Ohaaki wetland is a unique marshland that enhances biodiversity in the Ohaaki region by providing ideal habitat for waterfowl and other bird life, including rare or endangered species such as the While heron (kotuku).

The wetland has been developed on subsiding land on the Ohaaki geothermal field, caused by over extraction of geothermal fluid in the first 5 – 10 years after the Ohaaki power station was commissioned in 1989, prior to Contact owning it.

The development of the wetland has been a two-year project which has transformed previously unused land impacted by subsidence into a useful natural resource that will help to restore an ecosystem that provides irreplaceable benefits for the area, said Contact Chief Executive, Dennis Barnes at the opening today.

Contact gifted the land for the wetland development and funding for the $1 million development was provided through the Waikato Catchment Ecological Enhancement Trust and the Wairakei Environmental Mitigation Charitable Trust (WEMCT). WEMCT was created by Contact as part of the company’s efforts to mitigate the environmental impacts of its Wairakei operations.

“We at Fish & Game applaud Contact Energy and the two funding trusts, the Wairakei Environmental Mitigation Charitable Trust and the Waikato Catchment Ecological Enhancement Trust, for their support,” says Barry.

In order for the wetland to flourish, stable water levels were needed to provide suitable habitat for waterfowl breeding and hunting. As the wetland uses subsiding land which is prone to flooding, the team at Fish & Game constructed a 1,200-metre long and 3-metre high earth bund (a stopbank) to separate the river and the wetland, using 40,000 cubic metres of earth - enough to fill 16 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

“The creation of a completely new wetland is not common in New Zealand so it’s very exciting for us to have the opportunity to be involved with a project of this type and, thanks to Fish & Game, this project has been a success,” says Dennis.

Since its successful completion, the Ohaaki wetland has also inspired similar projects in the region. Recently a number of local farmers have developed an interest in restoring wetlands and a further 20 wetland projects are now under way, something that Fish & Game are keen on seeing more of.

“We’re keen to build on the success of Ohaaki and we’re more than willing to work with organisations like Contact, other funding trusts, and local bodies to explore and develop wetland and riparian projects for the benefits of hunters, conservationists and iwi,” says Barry.

Complete with a wildlife viewing hide and a 900-metre walking track, the Ohaaki wetland is open to the public throughout the year in between hunting seasons.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

To date, the Opposition has continued to occupy itself with the marginalia of the issue. E.g. whether Key did or didn’t know whether Barack Obama would be present at the US briefing last week on IS, or whether New Zealand’s military involvement is or isn’t already a fait accompli.

It might be better to tackle the issue, head on. Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn.
More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Tea Breaks 'Gone By Lunch Time'

“How cynical that on the eve of Labour weekend, the National government is pushing through legislation that takes away the statutory right to tea and meal breaks along with collective bargaining protections, and makes vulnerable workers jobs even less secure." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary Education: Students Doing It Tough As Fees Rise Again

The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. More>>

ALSO:

Housing, Iraq: PM Press Conference – 20 October 2014

Prime Minister John Key met with press today to discuss:
• Housing prices and redevelopment in Auckland
• Discussions with Tony Abbott on the governmental response to ISIS, and New Zealand’s election to the UN Security Council More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news