In December 2014 the Runaka applied for some funding to carry out a 'biodiversity stocktake project' on the Waikouaiti River. We now have confirmed funding to work on the stocktake over the next 12 months. Brendan Flack is the Principal Investigator and will be ably assisted by Pete Russell, Warrington resident and Marine Science Dept researcher. While led by the Runaka, it is a collaboration with the University of Otago and will focus on identifying the areas of the river where mahinga kai has been most severely compromised by agriculture and other human based modifications over time. The results of the research will be used for actual restoration projects on and next to the river and will help us to make good decisions in how to go about enhancing native fish habitats for mahinga kai.
A community and stakeholder hui was held on the 14th April at Puketeraki Marae, where we were able to explain the project's goals, aspirations and methods and to answer any questions.
The results of the research have been collated into a report that makes a number of recommendations regarding the restoration and connections to the river. While the river is in a moderately good state of health, there are clearly some opportunities for improvement. The full report is available here
After feedback from the latest hui stage two of the restoration project is about to begin. To get involved, contact Justine at the Runaka Office @ email@example.com
Update: we have been given a further round of funding to continue this important work on the river.
Contact Justine Marshall at the Runaka Office for information - firstname.lastname@example.org.