Selwyn Waihora committee supports local projects

The Selwyn Waihora Water Zone Committee has supported four local projects through its action plan budget. These projects aim to improve and enhance water quality, biodiversity, mahinga kai and recreational values in the zone.

Each of Canterbury’s water zone committees has an action plan which outlines how they will work with the community to deliver their aspirations for freshwater as outlined in the Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS).

Committees were provided $50,000, to support projects in their zones that help meet the CWMS targets and their action plans.

The Selwyn Waihora Water Zone Committee has supported the following projects:

  • Boat Creek Reserve Native Restoration - $15,200
  • Waikirikiri Selwyn River Catchment Group Establishment - $14,800
  • Upper Waikirikiri Biodiversity Corridor - $10,000
  • Muriwai o Whata Mahinga Kai - $10,000

Committee co-chairs Les Wanhalla and Fiona McDonald said each of the projects align well with the committee’s action plan.

"These are all projects that support the central zone’s key priorities – which include restoring and enhancing biodiversity, mahinga kai and recreation values.

"They focus on a range of actions such as planting, weed control, and ways to support future decision-making."

Boat Creek Reserve Native Restoration

Areas that have been planted with native species at Boat Creek over the last three years are naturally regenerating (image at the top also shows the site)

Areas that have been planted with native species at Boat Creek over the last three years are naturally regenerating (image at the top also shows the site)

This project aims to restore and enhance Boat Creek and its reserve – located adjacent to the Rakaia Huts village.

The Rakaia Huts community group and Water & Wildlife Habitat Trust are working to transform the area into a freshwater and native bush habitat hub that sustains fish and bird life, and improves water quality in the lagoon and river catchment.

The project also acknowledges the cultural significance of the site, and the importance of providing recreational access for everyone to enjoy.

The groups’ most recent achievements include predator control and planting of 6,000 native seedlings – with more than 50 people volunteering more than 2,000 hours of labour.

The committee is supporting the project with $15,200 for weed control and planting.

Waikirikiri Selwyn River Catchment Group Establishment

This work helped to better understand stakeholders’ priorities and activities in the Selwyn Waihora zone, and to identify opportunities for future actions.

Four options were identified as potential priorities that the zone committee could help advance, and two were selected for further investigation.

These two options were combined into one project, which involves undertaking background analysis to support a biodiversity corridor in the Upper Waikirikiri/Selwyn zone.

The zone committee will support the catchment group with its information gathering, while allowing it to progress at its own speed.

$14,800 of action plan budget went towards this work.

Upper Waikirikiri Biodiversity Corridor

The newly established Waikirikiri Selwyn River Catchment Group will focus its initial efforts on the Upper Waikirikiri catchment. It will look to establish a biodiversity corridor that aligns with the ‘Ki uta ki ta/Mountains to the Sea’ philosophy.

This project will help the community understand the area’s current state of biodiversity, creating a good information base to support decision-making and actions that might improve biodiversity connections.

The zone committee will support this work with $10,000 of action plan budget. This is separate to the funding that helped with the group’s establishment, with the committee keen to help the group maintain its momentum during these early stages.

Muriwai o Whata Mahinga Kai project

Muriwai o Whata/Coopers Lagoon is an area of cultural, natural and historic importance.

Muriwai o Whata/Coopers Lagoon is an area of cultural, natural and historic importance.

This project aims to enhance mahinga kai, biodiversity and recreation opportunities at Muriwai o Whata/Coopers Lagoon.

The site is an area of cultural, natural and historic importance – located on the coast between the Rakaia River and Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere.

To Ngāi Tahu, and in particular Ngāi Te Ruahikihiki ki Taumutu, Muriwai (as it is most commonly known) has special value as a mahinga kai location and is an important source of mana.

The project’s current priorities are to assess the designated area for planting (to understand which plants and methods would be most suitable) and to look at potential fish passage barriers.

$10,000 has been allocated from the committee’s action plan budget to support these planting efforts.

The funding is being used by Rūnanga in accordance with a draft planting plan recommended to them by Environment Canterbury, which they have approved.