Ted Talks - November 2022

Kaikōura Water Zone Committee chair

Ted Howard, Kaikōura Water Zone Committee chair

Hear from Kaikōura Water Zone Committee chair Ted Howard about the great community support for a local Waiau Toa/Clarence River presentation which took place recently.

Kia ora everyone! Can you believe it’s already November - where has the year gone? A lot has happened since my last column, including a recent Waiau Toa community hui which took place at the Clarence last month.

Committee’s dedication to the cause

The committee has been a strong advocate for the protection of freshwater, biodiversity and cultural values within the Waiau Toa catchment – first making the awa/river a priority area in 2014 and allocating $250,000 towards weed control over five years.

In June this year the committee held a workshop to determine how it would like to continue supporting ongoing efforts in the Waiau Toa. Several objectives came out of that workshop including the desire to hold a hui with all relevant parties to reconnect and develop a renewed collaborative approach to pest control within the catchment.

How the hui went

Around 20 people from the Waiau Toa community and further afield attended the hui, which was held at a local farmer’s property. Also in attendance were Clarence River Rafting representatives and contractors along with five committee members.

Environment Canterbury's Heath Melville and Boffa Miskell’s Sian Reynolds gave a presentation on the pest and weed control programmes that are occurring within the Waiau Toa catchment as a joint project by Environment Canterbury and Toitū te Whenua Land Information New Zealand. The presentation gave an overview of the weed control work undertaken in the catchment over the past year and plans for this financial year, an update on the wilding conifer control works being undertaken on Rangitahi / Molesworth and information on predator control works at the hāpua.

The hāpua nesting bird protection programme aims to increase breeding success for black-billed and red-billed gulls, white-fronted terns, oystercatchers, banded dotterels, Caspian terns and other ground nesting species. This is done by trapping their predators – future plans including expanding the current trap line for better protection. Signs are also planned, with more direct messaging after instances last season involving human disturbance.

Attendees were then given the chance to ask questions or discuss ideas and any opportunities they had. This was a great way of hearing from the community about their desires for the area.

Community drive

What’s exciting is we’re continuing to see a strong drive from the community to continue the great mahi taking place in the Waiau Toa. Feedback showed a desire for continued communication around works being undertaken and for more community sessions like this hui. Consideration will be given to making it an annual event – so watch this space.

Upcoming holiday season

I’ll be back with a new column in the New Year, but until then, stay safe and well and have a happy Christmas and New Year period.

Ngā mihi,