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

International Rankings: Student Results 'Show More Resourcing Needed'

NZEI: "For the second time in a week, international assessments show we have a problem... We need to put more resources into schools in high poverty communities to ensure all kids get the support they need."

New Zealand had only held relatively steady in international rankings in some areas because the average achievement for several other OECD countries had lowered the OECD average -- not because our student achievement has improved. More>>

 

Salvation Army Report: Beyond The Prison Gate Report

A new Salvation Army report says changes must be made to how prisoners re-enter society for New Zealanders to feel safe and secure in their homes and communities. More>>

ALSO:

Surprise Exit: Gordon Campbell On The Key Resignation

The resignation of John Key is one thing. The way that Key and his deputy Bill English have screwed the scrum on the leadership succession vote (due on December 12) is something else again. It remains to be seen whether the party caucus – ie, the ambitious likes of Steven Joyce, Judith Collins, Paula Bennett, and Amy Adams – will simply roll over... More>>

ALSO:

Q+A: Labour's Michael Wood Wins Mt Roskill

Labour’s Michael Wood, who last night won a 6,000 vote majority in the Mt Roskill by-election, says the reason for the win was simple, clear messaging... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Anne Tolley’s Callous Folly

Last week’s conflict between Social Development Minister Anne Tolley and District Court judge Carolyn Henwood illustrated quite a few of the flaws in the system. More>>

ALSO:

Members’ Bills: Greens' Domestic Violence And Loans Bills Pulled From Ballot

Jan Logie’s Domestic Violence-Victims' Protection Bill introduces workplace protections for victims of domestic violence, including allowing victims to request paid domestic violence leave for up to 10 days... Gareth Hughes’ Bill allows Kiwis with student loans to defer their student loan repayments into a first home savings scheme. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA: Police Did Not 'Deliberately' Use Pepper Spray On 10-Year-Old

"When spraying the man, the officer did not properly consider the necessity of using pepper spray in a confined space, the likelihood that it would affect the other innocent passengers or the fact that he was using a more powerful spray." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news