Plantings, praise and project planning for Christchurch West Melton

Hear from Chair of the Christchurch West Melton Water Zone Committee, Kevin Brown.

It has been a busy few months for the Committee, discussing the future of our local waterways and receiving updates from working groups, community groups, and other organisations working in the freshwater space.

Four-year planting project achievement

photo of Kevin Brown

Committee Chair Kevin Brown

The Cashmere Stream Care Group has recently completed the last stage of its four-year restoration and enhancement planting project with the local community.

With around 2,500 natives planted in the headwaters of Cashmere Stream since 2016, the project has been supported by both Immediate Steps biodiversity funding and a significant contribution of labour and resource from Christchurch City Council (CCC).

The plantings will help reduce erosion and keep the water temperature cool for the tuna/eels and bullies in the stream.

A project of this size is a great accomplishment and my congratulations goes out to the group for having completed the mammoth task.

Thanks also goes out to the organisations that have supported the group over the past four years and, of course, the many volunteers who have spent their time supporting the project over the years and continue to do so.

Ōtūkaikino water quality praised

Ōtūkaikino Stream

Ōtūkaikino Stream

In early October, Ōtūkaikino River was found to have some of the best water quality in urban Christchurch, based on results in Christchurch City Council’s Christchurch Surface Water Quality Report.

Christchurch City Council Principal Ecologist Belinda Margetts presented the results of the report to the Committee in late October.

This is great news for the Ōtūkaikino River, but with a number of other sites around the city not meeting the guideline for at least one parameter of good water quality, we need to keep working to exclude sediment from waterways and plant banks of streams to provide filtering properties, shade and habitat for species of fish, insects and birds.

Improvements may be slow to see, but we know that sustained and collaborative effort can make real changes.

Proposal for collaborative partnership in Ōtūkaikino catchment

Water and Wildlife Habitat Trust Chair Mike Patchett also presented to the Committee at our October meeting to provide an outline of the Trust’s proposal to develop a collaborative partnership with landholders and agencies in the Ōtūkaikino catchment.

The proposal builds on a previous planting and fencing programme in the area to prevent stock entering the waterway. Within a few years there was a riparian buffer zone of 20 to 100 metres.

Collaboration is key in the freshwater management space, and it was great to hear from Mike.

The Committee has previously recommended funding to several biodiversity enhancement projects in the Ōtūkaikino Stream area, so we look forward to seeing how this project progresses, while supporting it where we can.

You can keep up to date with the Committee by checking meeting locations, times, and topics. Feel free to contact us if you would like to come and speak to us about something in the freshwater space across the zone.

Ngā mihi,