Middle Creek/Te Wai-o-pātiki catchment project to protect and enhance waterway

A three-year project to boost biodiversity and improve water quality in the Kaikōura Flats’ Middle Creek/Te Wai-o-pātiki catchment began late last year and will be completed in 2024.

We are proud to be working alongside landowners to undertake the project, which will see sediment, bank slumping, stock access, weed overgrowth and overland flow paths/nutrient runoffs managed, to improve water quality in the Middle Creek/Te Wai-o-pātiki catchment. Find out more about other projects in the area.

Kaikōura Plains Recovery Project is supporting this work, putting $60,000 towards it. Other funding streams will be confirmed to support this work later in the year.

Pete during stream walk

Pete Bradshaw will be leading work along Middle Creek to address its water quality challenges.

Catchment home to variety of landscapes

Middle Creek/Te Wai-o-pātiki catchment hosts a mixture of dairy farms, dry farms, and lifestyle blocks.

Our land/whenua management and biodiversity advisor Pete Bradshaw is leading the mahi/work and has been talking with landowners about what actions they can take to support whole catchment recovery.

The Middle Creek/Te Wai-o-pātiki survey was completed between March and July last year.

“We walked along Middle Creek/Te Wai-o-pātiki and its associated drains and tributaries, creating a comprehensive record of key locations in the catchment that could benefit from improvement,” Pete said.

Pete during stream walk

Pete checked the river for locations that could benefit from improvements.

Key factors identified over the course of this survey included critical sources of contaminants such as overland flow paths, bank slumping, stock access, spring heads, discharge sites, and crossing points, as well as physical attributes such as aquatic plants, riparian coverage, pest plants, fish barriers and blockages.  

“Over the last few months, we’ve been talking with landowners about what that means for them, how they can get involved, and how we can support them with this mahi” he said.

“I’m really pleased with how supportive and driven landowners have been in this process – they too want the best result for the area,” he added.

Long-term data shows room for improvement

We monitor Middle Creek’s/Te Wai-o-pātiki water quality and ecological habitat annually. The long-term result has shown some room for improvement.

“We undertook the survey in a bid to better understand what challenges Middle Creek/Te Wai-o-pātiki catchment were facing, and how we can take collective action to ultimately improve the water quality and biodiversity,” Pete said.

A number of actions were recommended following the survey to enhance and improve water quality, these include:

  • Fencing
  • Planting
  • Managing stock access to waterways and drains

“We were encouraged by the survey that Kaikōura Plains Recovery Project did for Lyell Creek/Waikōau in 2017, which saw some fantastic mahi/work take place there – those surveys are still being used to guide work in the Lyell Creek catchment today,” he said.

map shows the Middle Creek catchment

This map shows the Middle Creek catchment and illustrates some of the actions which are taking place.

Landowner support pushes project forward

“We are glad to be starting work to mitigate these factors alongside landowners and exploring ways we can support them to undertake this work”

“Fencing and planting will be key to achieving resolving slumping and bank stabilisation and stock access issues,” Pete said.

“Middle Creek/Te Wai-o-pātiki runs through the Kaikōura Flats, so it’s a crucial waterway when it comes to protecting and improving water quality across the zone.

“It also supports other catchment approaches along the flats, such as Ocean Ridge, Mill Road, Hapuku and so on,” he added.

For more information

For more information, or to talk to Pete about the project you can call him on 027 3022 149.