Environment Canterbury supporting environmental guardians
Late last year members of the Kaitiaki /Guardians of Fork/Hakatere Stream met the Canterbury Water Management Strategy Upper Waitaki Zone Committee to discuss ideas for action in and around Hakatere/ Fork Stream.
Karen Simpson of Balmoral Station says reliable water is key to farming sustainably now and into the future. “We all want to continue living and working in this special part of New Zealand,” she said.
“Our children and our children’s children are connected to this place. It’s part of them and us, as it is for John Wilkie (Te Rūnanga o Waihao representative on the zone committee) and the people of Waihao Rūnanga.”
The zone committee is supporting Fork Stream landholders, as well as those adjoining the Maryburn and Irishman streams, with a part-time facilitator.
The Kaitiaki /Guardians group meets every couple of months and members have been helping Environment Canterbury by providing practical on-farm knowledge and expertise to inform the Upper Waitaki sub-regional section of the recently notified Land & Water Regional Plan.
The group is in the process of completing a funding application to help develop and restore an area of land adjacent to the stream, including an educational amenity (green space and interpretive panels) next to the stream on Braemar Road.
Fork/Hakatere Stream is a native fish paradise, with at least six different species of native fish being found in the river. Hakatere means “dancing waters”, an apt name for a stream alive with some of New Zealand’s unique freshwater fish.
The Department of Conservation, also a member of the group, is undertaking monitoring in Fork Stream to assess the health of native fish populations and see if they are under threat from introduced fish species.
Environment Canterbury allocates a number of funds, one or more of which the group may apply for.