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Hamilton Gets Greener – Mangaonua Gully Reopens

Residents of Hamilton have a new green space to explore after the Mangaonua Gully erosion control and restoration project was completed ye (Monday 11 December), and the gully was officially reopened to the public at a celebration event.

Construction of a gravel track and work to mitigate stream erosion was completed earlier this year.

Mayor Paula Southgate noted that this work supported Council’s mission to restore Hamilton's native vegetation cover from 2% to 10% by the year 2050. “Council remains committed to shaping a green city. We love our environment and city, and we want to protect it for today and future generations.”

The project was originally intended to be finished next year, with 40,000 natives due to be planted in early 2024, but was finished ahead of schedule and in time for residents to enjoy throughout the summer months.

Students at Silverdale Normal School and local restoration group Friends of Mangaonua were front and centre at the celebration, which paid homage to the mana of the gully and the restoration work that has been done already.

Following a blessing from a Ngaati Haua representative with Mayor Paula Southgate, students gave a kapa haka performance and the final native tree was planted, signifying the end of the $4.5 million project.

The Friends of Mangaonua group and Council’s Nature in the City programme will continue to look after the recently restored areas to protect all the hard work that has been done.

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The track was built to allow for this ongoing maintenance and restoration work, with the gravel surface and steep slopes making the path unsuitable for wheelchairs, bikes, and scooters.

However, pedestrians and dogs are welcome to walk through the area, which looks out across the Ruakura wetlands and connects with the Silverdale area at Chelmsford Park as well as the Silverdale Road and Morrinsville Road intersection.

“The project itself has been a full collaboration, not just between our staff and contractors, but with the community as well,” said Hamilton City Council’s Capital Projects Director, Kelly Stokes.

“Our erosion control and restoration efforts meet Council’s long-term stormwater management and Nature in the City goals. We also recognise that the gully is a special place, from the students at Silverdale School who back on to the gully, and the kaumatua in the village on Silverdale Road, to the local restoration group who continue to look after the gully for past and future generations.

“The level of collaboration seen through this project is a reflection of that.”

The Mangaonua Gully is one of seven gullies in Hamilton Kirikiriroa under Council’s erosion control programme, and was fast-tracked as a result of substantial funding from central government through Crown Infrastructure Partners and the Ruakura Inland Port West project.

The rest of the cost was funded through Council's 2021-31 Long-Term Plan.

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