Restoration of rock art site continues

Lucy Millar, Chair OTOP Water Zone Committee

Members of the Orari Temuka Opihi Pareora (OTOP) Water Zone Committee made the most of the last days of summer to get native plants in the ground at the precious Taniwha Gully rock art site near Pleasant Point.

A community planting day at the site, which is home to some of Aotearoa’s most precious tuhituhi neherā rock art, focused on getting hundreds of seedlings planted as part of a much bigger project.

We have supported the restoration of this gully, leased by the Ngāi Tahu Māori Rock Art Trust, for more than five years now and it was heartening to see the progress being made to re-establish indigenous vegetation of the valley floor and control woody weeds. This work – along with the protection of the land with a QEII National Trust covenant – helps protect the fragile limestone cliffs that are the canvas for the rock art.

Ongoing restoration and work at this location – which is in our action plan (PDF, 408KB) – includes more planting and developing signage explaining the importance of restoring mahinga kai species with a community education programme delivered by the Te Ana Ngāi Tahu Rock Art Centre.

Talking about Plan Change 7

Measures to protect rock art in our area are also included in the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan Change 7, which we will be delving into at our next meeting.

We are going to spend a good amount of time talking through the detail of the OTOP section of Plan Change 7, which is currently at the Appeals stage, and there will be a presentation from Environment Canterbury’s planning team. This will be an interesting session for anyone who wants to find out more detail about what’s been notified in the plan and how it is likely to impact activities like irrigation and applying fertiliser once it’s fully operative.

Join our next meeting online

Due to COVID-19 in the community, the next OTOP meeting will be held online on Monday 4 April 2022 at 1pm. Members of the public are welcome to attend. Please email Janine Roux (OTOP Zone Facilitator) to request an online link to the meeting. You can read the meeting agenda online, along with the minutes of what was discussed last time.

As usual, there will be a community forum where members of the public can share their thoughts and ideas with us. I hope to see you there.