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Pamoa Native Restoration Project Underway

Council has approved a comprehensive implementation plan for its Pamoa Native Restoration Project, with the primary intent to stabilise and protect the Waingake water supply pipeline.

In December 2018, Council decided the future composition of the Pamoa forest block would be 71 percent native trees and 29 percent commercial pine forest.

Increasing the biodiversity and size of the QEII covenant land of the Waingake Waterworks Bush are other goals of the programme, while also producing an economically viable second rotation of commercial forest.

A combination of plantings and assisted natural regeneration has been assessed as the best approach for re-establishing the native forest.

Steeper and less stable land, along with land in close proximity to the water pipeline will be prioritised for planting, while flatter and less erosion prone land will be allowed to naturally regenerate.

The project work plan has been split into four work streams – land management, pest management, weed control and procurement planning.

This project focuses on effective and meaningful input from local iwi and hapu and the procurement process takes into account contractors’ willingness to train and employ local people and, over time, supporting the development of iwi led capacity to reconnect with the land.

Early discussions have taken place between the Department of Conservation, Council and Ngai Tamanuhiri around a training programme proposed to be run in conjunction with EIT.

The Finance and Performance Committee approved native restoration expenditure of $207K for the remainder of the 2019/20 financial year, and $1.7m for 2020/21.

Animal pest control is underway and the pre-planting weed programme will start this month, before planting begins in July.

The full implementation plan can be viewed here

Additional background info:

Council bought the Pamoa forest block in 1989 after Cyclone Bola as a way of guaranteeing the long-term control of land use around the Gisborne waterworks – Mangapoike Dam and Waingake water supply pipeline.

In 1993 it entered into a joint venture with forestry company, Juken New Zealand, to manage the land surrounding the pipeline as a commercial forest. The land uses of commercial forestry and water infrastructure were considered complementary, with pine planting providing soil stability through the maintenance of tree canopy, as well as pest plant and animal control.

Pamoa consists of approximately 1100ha of commercial pine forest and 500ha of native vegetation in various stages of regeneration and maturity.

With portions of the forest approaching maturity for harvest, Council needed to make a decision around the long term plan for the forest to inform planning and consenting

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