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

 


“Riverkeeper” Appeals To Save Park

“Riverkeeper” Appeals To Save Park


Wanaka river conservationist Lewis Verduyn-Cassels has been given more time by Contact Energy to purchase a property needed for a proposed river park at the Red Bridge near Luggate.

Contact is selling off its land portfolio along the Upper Clutha River following its decision in May, 2012, to cease working on plans for a Luggate dam.

Two of the three properties needed for the river park were recently sold by Contact to undisclosed buyers, however an option to purchase the last remaining property for the park has been extended until 20 May.

The river park proposal, developed by Clutha Mata-Au River Parkway Chairman Lewis Verduyn-Cassels, landscape architect Anne Steven, and Luggate resident and historian Graham Taylor, is to create a park on approximately 2.75ha of riverside land providing multiple benefits to the community and the region.

The park would serve as a recreation area, an education destination, a research facility, a native nursery, and a local history resource.

Included in the plan is an open area beside the river for picnics, community gatherings and events. There would also be dedicated habitats for the endangered Longfin eel, rare indigenous plants, native birds, and skinks.

“We were hugely disappointed that we didn't have time to raise funds to purchase all the land we need for the park, but we're pleased that Contact has given us this chance to purchase the last property, although we're struggling to raise enough money. We're hoping to attract donations and sponsorship from people, organisations and businesses keen to be associated with community-based river conservation.”

The plan, which has been developed since June 2012, is backed in principle by the Wanaka Community Board and numerous stakeholders who have provided input,
including the New Zealand Transport Agency, Te Kakano Aotearoa Trust, the Historic Places Trust, the Longview Environmental Trust, and the Department of Conservation.

A dedicated Red Bridge River Park Trust would administer the park for the community.

The Trust would encourage partnerships with schools, technical and tertiary institutions, assisting with outdoor activities and research projects. The river park would be a working native restoration site, allowing visitors to learn about, and engage in, best practice river corridor management and conservation.

Lewis Verduyn-Cassels has lived on the property that he is trying to purchase for the park since 1991, undertaking a 22-year-long native restoration project, while working as a raft guide on the river and advocating for its protection.

He initiated the Clutha Mata-Au River Parkway project in 2003, envisioning a river-length park and trail, and from 2009 to 2012 he coordinated the Clutha River Forum, an alliance of conservation groups opposed to further large dams.

“As an unofficial riverkeeper, I feel an obligation to care for the extraordinary Clutha Mata-Au River on behalf of the community and future generations. Sadly, we're losing a lot of river corridor land with very high conservation and amenity values. I hope we can find sufficient funds to purchase this last property at the Red Bridge before our option expires on 20 May.”

“It's the perfect location for a community river park, and we would like it's opening to coincide with the Red Bridge Centennial celebrations in October, 2015.”

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

"Gutted" Safety Bill: Time To Listen To Workplace Victims’ Families

Labour has listened to the families of whose loved ones have been killed at work and calls on other political parties to back its proposals to make workplaces safer and prevent unnecessary deaths on the job. More>>

ALSO:

Regulators: Govt To ‘Crowd-Source’ Regulatory Advice

A wide-ranging set of reforms is to be implemented to shake up the way New Zealand government agencies develop, write and implement regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Board Appointments: Some Minister Appoint Less The 3 In 10 Women

“It’s 2015 not 1915: Ministers who appoint less than 3 in 10 women to their boards must do better, they have no excuse but to do better,” said Dr Blue. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The 1990s Retro Proposals For Our Health System

As we learned yesterday, the reviews propose that the democratically elected representation on DHBs should be reduced, such that community wishes will be able to be over-ridden by political appointees. In today’s revelations, the reviews also propose a return to the destructive competitive health model of the 1990s. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Cab Press Conference: Foreign Buyers Register, TPP And Serco

At a press conference today in Wellington, John Key discussed the foreign buyers register as well as the TPP and Serco. Key was questioned on whether a stamp tax might be used as a tool to deal with foreign buyers. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood Satire: Serco To Outsource Prison To Public Sector

In response to high-profile failings, multinational omnicorporation Serco will introduce public management in its prison system. Serco's New Zealand manager, speaking on condition of anonymity, has announced plans for managers from the Department of Corrections to run the Mt Eden Correctional Facility. More>>

National Party Conference: Plans To Nudge Immigrants Towards Regions

The Government will introduce a package of immigration measures aimed at improving the spread of workers, skills and investment across New Zealand, Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse says. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news