The enhancement of ecosystem health, indigenous biodiversity and recreation is at the heart of action on the ground in the Christchurch West Melton water zone. You can find a summary of some of our current projects:

Avon-Heathcote Estuary/Ihutai

Environment Canterbury supports the Avon-Heathcote Estuary Ihutai Trust with an annual grant, staff liaison and a councillor on its board.

The trust has a Memorandum of Understanding with Environment Canterbury and Christchurch City Council, who are currently helping fund the development of an Ecological Management Plan for the Estuary.

Representatives from the trust and councils organisations meet regularly to discuss significant issues and the implementation of the Ihutai Management Plan.

The Avon-Heathcote Estuary/Ihutai is the receiving environment for the Heathcote River/Ōpāwaho and the Avon River/Ōtākaro.

Ōtūkaikino catchment

The zone committee has funded several biodiversity enhancement projects in the Ōtūkaikino Stream area.

Work has involved clearing weeds such as blackberry and gorse and planting riparian strips in some areas.

Partners for this work include Christchurch City Council, the Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Trust, the Department of Corrections, Fish & Game, the QEⅡ National Trust and private landowners.

The committee is also supporting Lamb & Hayward with a comprehensive weed control programme in the Ōtūkaikino Wetland.

The multi-year project aims to rid the wetland of all willows and eradicate the nasty weed Beggars tick.

More information on biodiversity in the Ōtūkaikino catchment.

Styx catchment

The Styx River is a spring-fed ecosystem situated on the northern edge of Christchurch city.

As the city grows and the Styx is surrounded by urban areas, the challenge is to protect it from the kinds of pollution that affect the Heathcote River/Ōpāwaho and the Avon River/Ōtākaro.

The water zone committee is supporting the Styx River Living Laboratory Trust with work in the area.