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Collaboration helping to improve our waterways

Collaboration helping to improve our waterways

Whangarei Mayor Sheryl Mai has welcomed news of a $250,000 Government Community Environment Fund grant which she says will provide a great boost to the teams who have been working hard to improve water quality at Otuihau Whangarei Falls.

“This is an example of a great collaborative initiative between Whangarei District Council, Northland Regional Council and the community.”

Mayor Mai says Otuihau Whangarei Falls are an important site culturally to local hapu, and are also one of the district’s most popular tourist attractions.

The project will also have a flow-on effect, improving water quality downstream in the upper Whangarei Harbour. “It means the dream of safely swimming in the Town Basin gets closer to reality,” she says.

The grant money will be used to increase fencing, planting and stock water systems on private land in the upper Hatea catchment that feeds into the Falls. It will also pay for signage at the Falls reserve raising awareness about water quality.

This will complement Whangarei District Council funded community planting work on public land in the catchment, known as the Waitaua Awa Restoration Project. The Council has spent $90,000 over the past two years on community projects in this area, including funding riverbank planting; signage; water quality testing; and the nursery He Kakano which grows the thousands of plants needed for the restoration project.

Mayor Mai encouraged the community to get involved and take part in the first community planting day of the year, which will be held this Saturday, 24 June, at Springs Flat Road Commercial Area from 11am to 3pm. People who would like to help should bring a spade, closed footwear and a raincoat.

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