Wetland work continues in Kaikōura

Kaikōura Water Zone Committee (KWZC) have allocated more than $40,000 of Immediate Steps Biodiversity Funding (IMS) to support three local wetland projects. These projects will work to protect, grow and enhance native habitat across the district.

Three key projects have been chosen to contribute to wetland work in Kaikōura District:

  • Greenburn wetland, with an established raupō habitat perfect for native birds.
  • Kōmanawa o te Waikōau/Spring of the Lyell Restoration, which will focus on increasing protection at the top end of the Lyell catchment.
  • Poipoi Kotare Stream, which will build on previous restoration work within the Kahutara River area.

Greenburn wetland

Greenburn wetland, with extensive raupō and purei sedgeland, provides quality habitat for native bird species.

With control of weeds such as willow, blackberry and old man’s beard; the wetland habitat will provide native bird, fish, and invertebrate species space to thrive. 

Kaikōura Water Zone Committee Chair, Ted Howard, said more than two hectares of wetland will be protected and restored to increase biodiversity values and improve water quality in the area.

“Greenburn is a sight to behold.

"The raupō habitat is uncommon in these areas, so when the project was presented to the Committee, we were keen to support it,” Howard said. 

Several works will be carried out in Greenburn wetland including:

  • fencing
  • weed and predator control
  • planting
  • direct seeding of natives on the wetland edges and
  • redirecting a neighbouring stream into the wetland.

The KWZC agreed the Greenburn wetland would help increase biodiversity values in the district and allocated more than $23,000 of IMS funding to support the project.

The total cost for this project is estimated to be around $42,000 including other contributions such as landowner resources and funding.

Greenburn Wetland KaikōuraGreenburn Wetland KaikōuraGreenburn Wetland Kaikōura
Greenburn Wetland Kaikōura
Greenburn Wetland Kaikōura
Greenburn Wetland Kaikōura

Kōmanawa o te Waikōau/Spring of the Lyell Restoration

Kōmanawa o te WaikōauSpring of the Lyell Restoration

Kōmanawa o te Waikōau/Spring of the Lyell Restoration

With an already fenced stream and wetland, this project aims to plant large areas, including an island, between drains on the property and along a main tributary of Lyell Creek/Waikōau.

Work will include:

  • fencing
  • drain excavation
  • planting natives, and
  • direct seeding the edges of the tributary.

“The result will be a healthy spring and tributary of Lyell Creek/Waikōau, protected with native vegetation, and connecting other biodiversity projects and restoration works in the catchment,” Howard said.

“It’s a great project because it really starts at the heart of the Lyell Creek/Waikōau - the source of the water that flows through Kaikōura Plains and then the township.”

KWZC have supported this project with $7,000, with around two hectares of area being protected.

Poipoi Kotare Stream

Poipoi Kotare Stream Kaikōura

Poipoi Kotare Stream, Kaikōura

“The aim of this project is to protect and restore a small area to dense riparian forest while creating a habitat for freshwater species,” Howard said.

“The work will result in a restored canopy cover, to shade the stream, and a corridor of native vegetation from the spring source within the Poipoi Kotare Stream, into the larger Kahutara River.”

Work will include:

  • removal of some Willow trees, which out compete native vegetation for sunlight
  • a stream diversion, so that the Poipoi Kotare Stream will flow through its original course
  • fencing to good management practise standard
  • weed control, and
  • planting.

KWZC allocated just over $15,000 from IMS funding to support the landowner in protecting and enhancing the wetland.

Biodiversity funding for Kaikōura 2019-2020

Between June 2019 and July 2020 the Kaikōura Water Zone Committee allocated more than $100,000 of Immediate Steps Biodiversity funding.

Some of the projects supported include:  

  • Braided river bird surveys undertaken at Hāpuku, Kōwhai, Kahutara, Charwell, and the lower Waiau Toa/Clarence River. Information gathered during these surveys will help assess the state of our threatened braided river birds such as the Black-Fronted Tern.
  • Harnetts Creek protection, in collaboration with the QEII Trust. A deer fence was installed to keep feral animals and stock out of 14 hectares of alluvial forest and spring heads. This area is of high ecological value and will create a space where more native plant, animal, bird, fish, and insect species can thrive.
  • Waiau Toa/Clarence River weed control carried out, with remaining funding for this project carried over to the 2020/2021 financial year. A ground control crew will be sent in by raft in the late spring or summer when the river flow is good, and broom and gorse are flowering, while aerial spraying will be carried out for the tern islands in the riverbed. These islands provide safe habitat for the Black-Fronted Tern. Further aerial weed control will also be carried out to reduce areas of broom in the catchment.
  • Mount Fyffe wetland was allocated funding for protection and enhancement of an ecologically significant area containing species uncommon in Canterbury, such as swamp lily. This is a new project that will fence and protect just under two hectares of mānuka-dominant wetland habitat. This project will be underway in October 2020.

The Committee is looking forward to seeing how these projects progress and supporting other private, public and community led initiatives throughout the district in the next financial year, such as supporting Love the Lyell Governance Group.

  • Local landowners and managers who are interested in assistance or resources for protecting or enhancing wetlands on their property can get in touch with our Kaikōura office by calling 03 319 5781.

All images courtesy of Heath Melville.