Action in the zone

Environment Canterbury is working with several partners on a wide range of initiatives within the Lower Waitaki South Coastal Canterbury water zone. We've provided a snapshot of some key projects below.

Te Mana o Te Wai Wainono Lagoon restoration project

Wainono Lagoon is a 480 hectare coastal lagoon and wetland of national and international importance for its birdlife and native fish. The lagoon is also of significant importance to the local rūnanga.

Environment Canterbury has been working to restore the water quality, plant and animal life in the lagoon over a number of years. More recently, this has been through a partnership with Te Rūnanga o Waihao.

The rūnanga secured funding through the Te Mana o Te Wai fund administered by central government.

Key project actions include:

  • fencing streams
  • enhancing wetland areas
  • controlling sediment losses and bank erosion
  • supporting rūnanga in the management of freshwater issues.

Lower Waitaki braided river project

Funded through the Canterbury Water Management Strategy biodiversity regional initiatives fund, this five-year initiative is researching methods of vegetation clearance and habitat enhancement for the black fronted tern and black billed gulls.

The project is managed by the Department of Conservation and is investigating options such as aerial spraying, root raking and harrowing.

Waihao Downs project

Working in collaboration with Waihao Downs Irrigation, we are undertaking extensive farm surveys of properties that have recently installed irrigation through the Waihao Downs Irrigation Scheme.

The surveys will identify actions to improve irrigation practices, such as mitigating sediment and phosphorus loss, which will be incorporated into farmers' Farm Environment Plans.

The Waihao Downs Irrigation Scheme will undertake audits to ensure these actions are completed.

Hakataramea Community Action Plan

The Hakataramea community are working on an action plan to achieve improved outcomes for the Hakataramea river and valley.

The Lower Waitaki Zone Committee supports the group and actions planned.

Other projects

Other work being carried out in the Lower Waitaki South Coastal Canterbury zone includes:

  • water use efficiency work led by industry
  • groundwater and surface water investigations led by Environment Canterbury
  • Support for the Waihao-Wainono Water Users Society.