Events in the community
Toitū Te Hakapupu / Pleasant River Community Planting Day
Sunday, 3 September 1pm - 4pm
Corner of Jefferis Road and SH1 (State Highway 1), Waikouaiti (See on Google Maps)
The Toitū Te Hakapupu Restoration Project celebrated the start of planting in the Pleasant River area with a community planting day.
It was a chance for those not familiar with the project to hear more about the vision the community has for Te Hakapupu, to learn what work’s been started, what’s upcoming and help plant some natives along a waterway in the river catchment.
1,200 plants were planted.
A free barbeque and ice cream was provided.
This planting day gave the community the opportunity to help contribute to the improvement of water quality in the area.
It was a great way to spend time with Dad on Father’s Day; giving back to the environment whilst enjoying a barbie and a Mr Whippy!
Community Hui – Identifying Actions
Monday, 14 August 6.30pm – 8.30pm
East Otago Events Centre in Waikouaiti
Around 15 community members attended the hui, workshopping ways to build on the ideas from the last meeting and achieve the vision the community outlined for Te Hakapupu catchment.
To start off, Mel White from the Otago Regional Council provided a brief update of progress on the Toitū Te Hakapupu project. Matt Dale from the Ahikā science team then outlined key results from the baseline water quality monitoring.
The community quickly identified actions they believed would help address problems while also meeting their values and goals for the catchment. Locations for these actions were also discussed and lists made of groups and organisations that could help achieve them.
For water quality, stabilisation of slip prone areas was a key action, as was the addition of sediment traps and riparian planting in appropriate locations. Recognising the low flow characteristics of the catchment during summer, enhancement of the deeper pools that can become disconnected during dry spells was also considered important by the group.
In relation to land use, actions included planting natives along the boundaries between farmland and forestry to help suppress weed species and enhance biodiversity. Slowing the speed of drainage water was another action to reduce the erosive effects in high flows. For example, by putting purpose built ‘sock’s on the end of drainage pipes.
Actions for the estuary-wetland complex focussed more on kōrero with landowners about the new wetland rules and the removal of barriers such as flap-gates to help the salt marsh regenerate.
The group reflected on their great work over kai and a cuppa, and the idea of a beautiful, flourishing catchment with healthy wai and healthy whenua that is recognised as a destination to visit.
May 2023 Community workshop
Around 20 community members attended the hui, where outcomes from the work done since the last community hui were presented and the role and benefits of a catchment management plan were shared.
Associate Professor Marc Schellenberg of the University of Otago presented a summary of results from monitoring of water quality, ecological health, and scientific research undertaken in recent years. This included a first glimpse of the real-time water quality measurements taken from River Watch wakas which people found very interesting.
The first workshop session then posed four questions about the Te Hakapupu catchment to those present. The questions covered what was special and important about the catchment, what issues or challenges it faced, what is important for management of the catchment, and finally, what the group thought the catchment should be like for future generations.
A wide range of themes emerged covering good water quality and healthy ecosystems, along with access and enjoyment of the unique aesthetics of the catchment’s waterways and its four peaks. Farming and forestry practices that complimented these themes were also discussed, as well as the importance of the overall link between healthy land and water, healthy people, and healthy connected communities.
Another short workshop followed, exploring types of involvement the community would like in regard to further scientific initiatives. Options included recording types and numbers of fish and bird species associated with the estuary and river.
The project team will now build all this new information into the first full version of the Te Hakapupu/Pleasant River catchment management plan over the next few months.
February 2023 Community meeting
A community meeting in Waikouaiti to support landowners looking to get involved in some of the work Toitū Te Hakapupu has planned for 2023, chiefly fencing and native planting.
There was an interactive mapping session to collect local knowledge of the catchment such as known sediment hot spots, corrections were made to current land use maps, and discussions were had around proposed monitoring sites.
Opportunities for the rest of the community to help were also identified, including scientific monitoring, planting days and surveys. With time for feedback and questions from the greater community.
December 2022 Oioi planting trial
More than 1600 oioi plants have been planted around the South Arm of Te Hakapupu estuary thanks to the hard work and collaborative efforts of the Kāti Huirapa Rūnaka ki Puketeraki marae nursery and Tūmai Beach Restoration Trust.
The project was largely funded by Toitū Te Hakapupu; a joint initiative between the Otago Regional Council, Kāti Huirapa Rūnaka te Puketeraki and the Ministry for the Environment.
In an attempt to reintroduce these colourful, native wetland rushes to the area, the kaitiaki (guardians) at Kāti Huirapa Rūnaka ki Puketeraki and some residents at Tūmai Beach farm park have undertaken this as a planting trial to learn the best ways to re-establish the plant around the estuary.
October 2022 Meet and greet
A relaxed meet and greet event was held on the Familtons’ farm to introduce the people behind the project to the community, outline the project’s aims and how it may affect those in the community.
Those that attended were encouraged to ask questions, share their thoughts, values, and what they would like to see for the future of their catchment.