August update: Kaikōura Zone Delivery Lead

Kaikōura zone delivery lead Kevin Heays updates us on what the team will be focusing on for the rest of the year.

Our zone delivery team has got a few priorities that we want to focus on over the next year. Many of these follow on from work that’s already been happening in the zone, so they shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Priority area one: Waiau Toa/Clarence River

KPRP Jodie Hoggard recording information in the field for reporting

KPRP's Jodie Hoggard recording information during the Middle Creek stream walk

Waiau Toa is a significant waterway with high cultural value, diverse alpine and braided environments, and rare ecosystems that support a range of different plant, bird, fish, and invertebrate life.

The catchment has received significant funding and effort over the last five years. Further projects are planned in the catchment to build on the weed and pest control work that has already been done.

Local landowners and Clarence community members have been shouldering some of the work in this space. I’d like to acknowledge their ongoing involvement and the encouragement they provide staff working in the area to achieve positive biodiversity and water quality outcomes.

Read more about the work that’s happening in the catchment here.

Priority area two: Kaikōura Flats

Rachel wading in the water collecting information on stream health

Customer services officer Rachel, during the Middle Creek Stream walk

Rachel, Pete and Jodie, from Kaikōura Plains Recovery Project (KPRP) have been walking more than 28kms along Middle Creek, Lukes Creek, Mill Creek, and all the associated drains, since March.

Why, you ask? The team has been collecting information on the current state and health of the catchment – things like riparian plants and weeds, erosion/stability of banks, macroinvertebrates, sedimentation, and water samples.

This information (alongside the Lyell Creek Walk project of 2018) will provide a baseline of the health of the waterways across Kaikōura Flats and identify opportunities for biodiversity and water quality improvements.  

The information from both stream walks and subsequent reports will provide more data and guidance for managing riparian margins across the Kaikōura Flats.

Thanks goes to KPRP for funding the stream walk and helping us assess changes to the catchment following the 2016 earthquake. The mahi from this group will continue to help guide methods for improving the catchment and measuring the impact of those methods for many years to come.

Priority area three: Catchment focus

The final key priority for this year focuses on our precious local catchments. More specifically we want to bring people together in areas across Kaikōura who are keen to take action to improve the state of our waterways.

More formal ‘catchment groups’ have been established in other areas of Canterbury with great success and I think it’s something that could float some boats in our rohe (area).

Kaikōura’s catchment groups don’t have to be formal – they could simply be a couple of landowners who are keen to do some mahi for the environment or like-minded people who live near a river, stream, drain, or lake.

Whatever it is, I want to hear about it. Get in touch with me by calling 027 646 2230. This isn’t about taking on more work; but being more efficient in the way we work.

I look forward to hearing from our local waterway warriors – if you’re one of them, make sure you get in touch.

Until next time,

Kev