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Te Karamū Hits Project Targets, With More Planned

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is celebrating improvements to Te Karamū Stream corridor and habitat after five years of mahi with the community, and is looking to expand the project.

Regional Councilor Craig Foss says work done along Te Karamū is fantastic and that more work can be done.

“Te Karamū Stream is at the heart of the Heretaunga community connection with our environment from Poukawa basin to Clive,” says Councillor Foss.

“What’s been achieved along the Karamū so far is fantastic – it deserves a big ‘thank you’ to everyone involved. I also want the Regional Council to do a stocktake of what’s been achieved, to step up, be more ambitious and plan what else we can do along the 238 kilometres of this taonga. I want us to consider water quality, sediment, pollution and more. We could do a whole lot more using skills inside the Council and working with the community to look at all aspects of the health of Te Karamū.”

Regional Council Team Leader Open Spaces Russell Engelke says the plan for enhancing the awa has been successful so far because of the community.

“We’ve worked with the community from the get-go to create an area they are now proud of and use all the time,” says Mr Engelke.

Building a plan called The Te Karamū Enhancement Strategy in 2016, the community wanted to focus on pest control, protecting wildlife and the habitat beside the awa, re-establishing ecosystems, and enhancing cultural, social and recreational values.

“Thanks to the community’s support and a lot of their mahi, we’re tracking really well to achieve the goals that we set. We’ve now planted 7.3 hectares of land beside Te Karamū to support habitat, wetland groves, and ecosystems. Over the next four years we’re looking at planting three hectares each year, adding around 12 hectares of habitat.

“The project is tracking so well that by the end of this year we’ll have reached 100% of our planned priority planting. The plantings we’ll continue doing until 2025 are an added bonus.

“We’re also looking forward to recruiting a permanent role dedicated to Te Karamū to support the project and engage with the community, which is due to be signed off by the Regional Council as part of this year’s Long Term Plan.”

Through this role there will be capacity to review the work programme to better plan and coordinate a whole of organisational approach to Te Karamū.

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