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Project Watershed Works Identified For Whakamaru Zone

More than 100 kilometres of stream bank could be fenced for soil conservation purposes in the Whakamaru area under Environment Waikato’s Project Watershed.

The scale of works, estimated to cost nearly $800,000 over a yet to be determined period, were outlined at a liaison sub-committee meeting in Mangakino last week.

Project Watershed is a two year programme aimed at developing a catchment-wide approach to river management and funding, based on six separate sub-catchment zones.

Environment Waikato staff have identified six priority areas for soil conservation work in the Whakamaru Zone:

  • Mangakino River (20 km bank length)
  • Mangakowhiriwhiri Stream (10 km)
  • Maraemanuka Stream (10 km)
  • Okama Stream (6 km)
  • Waipapa Stream (8 km)
  • Waiteti Stream (6 km)

The liaison sub committee was told the proposed fencing of 113 km of stream bank would cost $485,900, while riparian planting over 68 km would require a further $262,500. Structures ($18,000) and alternative water supplies would add a further $43,000 to the total estimated cost for soil conservation works of $797,400.

A further $15,000 over three years is recommended for low level river management works associated with the main Waikato River within the zone, with an annual maintenance cost for river management of $1500.

The committee was told the original estimate for the above work in the Whakamaru Zone had been $668,500, but the zone has been expanded since the initial Whakamaru strategy was mooted last year.

Project Watershed staff are currently carrying out an informal consultation programme to identify an acceptable level of work to be included in a draft management plan for the whole Waikato catchment that will be put out for formal consultation in June.

Environment Waikato chairman Neil Clarke says if local people have early input then the draft plan is more likely to match their community’s expectations.

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