Catchment approach sees funding for Kaikōura projects

Vital projects in the Kaikōura water zone were allocated $200,000 with a focus on engagement, on-the-ground actions such as planting, and continuing the mahi in the Waiau Toa Clarence catchment.

A number of initiatives were prioritised by our Kaikōura zone delivery team, with funding support through a number of different Environment Canterbury funds:

  • Kaikōura zone delivery Zone Priority Projects Fund
  • Canterbury Biodiversity Strategy Fund
  • Fish Habitat Fund
  • Braided River Revival

Zone Priority Projects are led by our zone delivery teams, who operate at a local level. They support landowners and community groups, and in turn are supported by the water zone committee, our regional teams, and other organisations, to meet the Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS) targets.

Much of this work is through advice and assistance to landowners wanting to increase the level of protection for waterbodies on their property and working with other agencies and community groups to extend funding and efforts.

Priority projects

Three Kaikōura Flats catchments and one Waiau Toa Clarence catchment have been the focus of the Kaikōura team over the past year:

  • Kaikōura Flats - Mill Road – $40,000 from the Zone Priority Projects Fund
  • Kaikōura Flats - Middle Creek – $60,000 through the Kaikōura Plains Recovery Project
  • Kaikōura Flats - Waikōau/Lyell Creek – $10,000 through the Zone Priority Projects Fund
  • Waiau Toa Clarence – $90,000 total from Braided River Revival Fund and the Canterbury Biodiversity Strategy Fund

Over $100,000 in total has been committed to work on the Kaikōura Flats over the last year.

Mill Road
Mill Road catchment

Mill Road catchment project

The Mill Road catchment on the Kaikōura Flats has been allocated with around $40,000 from the Zone Priority Projects Fund, which has supported landowners with fencing and planting; and employment of a part-time catchment group coordinator to support landowners in their mahi.

This catchment project consists of work taking place on a variety of properties. It was established after opportunities along the creek were identified that could benefit water quality and enhance biodiversity in the catchment. It follows work undertaken in the area as part of the Kaikōura Plains Recovery Project.

Eco-sourced native plants have been installed at some spots, information and resources have also been shared with landowners and electric fish monitoring has taken place to help benchmark progress.

Read more about the Mill Road catchment project.

Middle Creek/Te Wai-o-pātiki
Middle Creek/Te Wai-o-pātiki catchment project

Middle Creek/Te Wai-o-pātiki catchment project

Work began in the Middle Creek/Te Wai-o-pātiki catchment late last year and is set to be completed in 2024.

The project will see sediment, bank slumping, stock access, weed overgrowth and overland flow paths/nutrient runoffs managed, to improve water quality.

Staff are in conversation/kōrero with landowners about actions that can help enhance and improve water quality, such as fencing, planting and managing stock access to waterways. Drains remain a priority area for this catchment.

This work is funded as an extension of the Kaikōura Plains Recovery Project. The catchment is on the Kaikōura Flats and has $60,000 allocated to it.

Read more about the Middle Creek/Te Wai-o-pātiki catchment project.

Waikōau/Lyell Creek
Lower Lyell Creek/Waikōau catchment

Lower Lyell Creek/Waikōau catchment

$10,000 was allocated from the Zone Priority funding for work in the Lower Lyell Creek/Waikōau catchment in 2021 and 2022.

Waikōau has been a priority catchment for Environment Canterbury and actively supported by Rūnanga for many years, with an aim to improve water quality and increase the community connection with the awa. Increased efforts from local community, schools, staff, businesses, and other organisations have seen positive effects on the stream in recent years.

The most recent round of funding is going towards planting to help provide shade for parts of the stream - improving the freshwater habitat for aquatic life, while connecting the community to these environments in their back yard through planting days and other engagement with schools and groups, at two publicly accessible sites. This is part of the ‘Waikōau Connection’ kaupapa, which has initially focused on the small stream-side site downstream from the i-Site.

The Lyell Creek Stream Walk findings and recommendations from NIWA continues to be the central driver for ensuring a better water quality in this special awa.

Work in this catchment over the next year or so will see further planting, with a focus on improving rewilding and mahinga kai values along the awa upstream of the State Highway One bridge and beyond. A planting day is planned for August.

Waiau Toa Clarence catchment funded
Waiau Toa Clarence catchment

Waiau Toa Clarence catchment

Environment Canterbury, the Department of Conservation (DOC), and Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) have been working together with Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura, the Clarence community, and Marlborough District Council to protect and enhance the catchment.

Nearly $400,000 from the three major funders (DOC, LINZ and Environment Canterbury) has supported weed control, ground-nesting-bird protection, monitoring, and trapping work at multiple sites across the catchment. Environment Canterbury has supported this mahi with $90,000 in total, from the Canterbury Biodiversity Strategy Fund and Braided River Revival Fund.

Keep up to date

Over the next year, the Kaikōura zone delivery team will continue progressing their current projects. The Hāpuku Catchment Collective project is an addition this year, with focus on supporting landowners with weed control in the Hāpuku area.

To keep up-to-date with what’s happening with each of these projects, keep an eye on the news and events page.