WAIKANAE RIVER SOUTH BANK:
This year has seen steady growth of the planted material. There is only one site, at the eastern end of the KERMIT area, left to plant. It is estimated this will take four years to complete. The pest plants are under control, ninety per cent of the original weeds having been successfully eliminated or controlled. Contractor Brent Buckler continues to do a great job and, increasingly, he is being encouraged to participate in the planning process. Within three years, it is anticipated that he should be able to maintain the area himself, if that became necessary. The relationship with the Department of Corrections and the Community Service personnel has been of great assistance. Enabling more areas to be tidied and rubbish to be burnt than would otherwise have been possible. With Brent’s commitment and leadership, plus the availability of the Community Service personnel, the Kermit area of the Waikanae River has seen significant gains achieved, during the year under review.
Overall, re-vegetation of the Reserve is well established. Some 500 additional plants have been planted to fill existing gaps. A generous gift of nikau and kowhai was especially appreciated. Pest control for both rabbits and rats is being carried out. The Council is being pressed to provide footbridge access to the steep dune face on the northern side of the stream, for planting etc. Erosion of the stream banks, during floods, has been a problem, and this is likely to continue given the sandy nature of the soil. We are hopeful that one day the remainder of the stream margins, from the western end of the Project to the Waikanae River will be similarly re-vegetated. This would provide an additional bird corridor and mitigate or soften the negative effects of development. We are most grateful for the continued assistance provided by Matt Ward and Brent Buckler.
The major achievement this year has seen the erosion protection work completed by the KCDC. The design incorporates living walls, planted with grasses and sedges, plus riffles i.e. rock barriers across the bed of the stream. These latter slow the flow, enable fish passage and recharge the aeration of the water. The Council deserves to be congratulated for adopting such an innovative ecological design. Exotic macrocarpas have been removed, and weed control along with infill plantings continued. It is pleasing to observe that replanted northern rata and kowhai have commenced flowering.
WEGGERY DRIVE LAGOON: Small numbers of infill plants are still required to complete this project. The ongoing requirement is for weed control until canopy closure is achieved. This is being maintained.
JOHN TOPLIFF – Chairmanno