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Published: 2014-07-30 00:00:00

Waikato Regional Council staff have supported a big conservation effort on the Coromandel last financial year, with help for nearly 22 kilometres of fencing to protect the environment. This included new projects or the completion of projects started in previous years.

The contribution included:

  • help for completing nearly 13 kilometres of stream fencing and three kilometres of coastal fencing
  • support for landowners planting more than 20,000 native plants
  • 5000 natives being planted by the council on other restoration projects
  • nearly 500 Poplar poles being planted to help prevent erosion.

“This has been a fantastic effort by staff in collaboration with landowners and others on the peninsula,” said Hauraki-Coromandel manager Julie Beaufill.

“The work has helped fence off erosion-prone areas and protect wetlands, native bush and coastal areas from stock grazing.

“The council has also advised and assisted with the restoring of natural areas through planting natives or through planting exotic trees specifically designed to help prevent erosion,” Ms Beaufill said.

The $160,000 worth of the council’s own activities and support for the work of landowners was drawn from the Peninsula Project budget for catchment new works. Under the Peninsula project, the council will pay up to 35 per cent of the costs of qualifying environmental protection work by landowners.

Ms Beaufill said feedback from landowners was that this funding was a great motivator for people to get work done.

“For example, the Mahamudra Centre at Colville which wanted to do more to protect vulnerable bird species on its property, was able to secure funding from the council and the Honda Tree Fund. They report that they feel they’re creating something special for the local and international community,” said Ms Beaufill.

Other individual area highlights include:

Mataora blocks 1 and 2 at Mataora Bay: 5545 meters of stream fencing completed and 5700 natives planted. Mataora blocks manager John Douglas said he was very happy with the outcomes which had involved collaboration with the council and Ngā Whenua Rāhui.

“The Ngāti Porou block is a unique and special place for its whānau. The initial environmental initiative was developed almost ten years ago to help protect the whānau coastal marine area in Mataora Bay where the whānau marae is to be rebuilt in the near future.

“The stuff we have done is pretty much common sense but putting it into action does require commitment. Māori often speak about land and water and it’s status and we on Mataora are happy to be practising that ethic of protection and ongoing enhancement.”

Tairua catchment: One property completed 1460 metres of stream fencing and planted 2000 native plants.

Waiwawa catchment: A gully of native forest was retired using 400 metres of fencing and 125 natives were planted, along with 50 Poplar poles.