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

 

Parliament Today:

Werewolf: The Defence Pretence

Last year, the world began spending more money on weapons again, for the first time since 2011... New Zealand belongs to a region – Asia and Oceania – where military spending rose sharply in 2015, by 5.4 per cent. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Not Crying Foul, Argentina

So a couple of guys found to be criminally liable of environmental pollution in Argentina lodge an application with the Overseas Investment Office… in order to buy some prime New Zealand rural land. Seems that their factory back home had carelessly and/or intentionally discharged toxic waste into the Lujan river. Bummer... More>>

ALSO:

Urban & Rural: $303m To Merge And Modernise New Zealand’s Fire Services

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne today announced funding of $303 million over five years to combine urban and rural fire services into one organisation from mid-2017. More>>

ALSO:

High Trust Regime: What Did The PM Tell His Lawyer About Foreign Trusts?

The Government stopped the IRD from reviewing New Zealand foreign trusts shortly after the Prime Minister’s lawyer wrote to the Revenue Minister claiming John Key had promised him the regime would not be changed. More>>

ALSO:

Road Crime: Wicked Campers Vans Classified As Objectionable

The definition of publication includes any "thing that has printed or impressed upon it, or otherwise shown upon it, 1 or more (or a combination of 1 or more) images, representations, signs, statements, or words", The Classification Office has previously classified such 'things' as billboards, t-shirts, and even a drink can. This is the first time the Classification Office has classified a vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

'When New' Repairs: Landmark EQC Settlement

The Earthquake Commission has cut a deal with 98 Canterbury homeowners that affirms the government entity's responsibility to repair earthquake-damaged property to a 'when new' state, as well as covering repairs for undamaged parts of a property and clarifying its position on cash settlement calculations. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Kiwirail’s Latest Stint In The Dogbox

The denigration of Kiwirail continues. The latest review (based on a 2014 assessment) of the options facing the company have enabled Kiwirail to be hung out to dry once again as a liability and burden on the taxpayer. More>>

ALSO:

Royal Society Report: Good Opportunities To Act Now On Climate Change

There are many actions New Zealand can and should take now to reduce the threat of climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy, a report released today by the Royal Society of New Zealand finds... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news