Volunteers wanted for shellfish health survey

A call has gone out for volunteers to join, this Saturday and Sunday, in an assessment of shellfish in the Onepoto arm of Te Awarua-o-Porirua, Porirua Harbour.

The survey, to be conducted on behalf of Ngāti Toa Rangatira with the support of Greater Wellington Regional Council, will play a significant role in assessing the cultural health of the resource for mana whenua, Ngāti Toa Rangatira.

Data will be collected on the abundance and size of four culturally important shellfish species: cockles, pipis, mud whelks and mudflat topshells. The survey will involve volunteers visiting the harbour and counting, identifying and measuring the shellfish to gather rich data across multiple sites around the harbour.

Capturing the data is important from a number of perspectives. Greater Wellington needs to understand the health of these species. It is essential to local iwi exercising kaitiakitanga over the harbour, their guardianship role is vital to ensuring the health of these species.

The survey is also important in helping measure the success of rehabilitating these species in the harbour. In particular, the Porirua Stream empties into the harbour, and the shellfish populations are likely to be impacted by stream water quality.

The information will feed into the Te Awarua-o-Porirua Harbour catchment project, in which the community is working with the catchment committee on improving the quality of the harbour’s water.

Many people in the community are participating in the discussion about the quality of the harbour’s water, and this is a practical way of getting them directly involved in collecting the data needed to support the conversation.

Key partners in the Te Awarua-o-Porirua Harbour catchment project are Greater Wellington, Ngati Toa, Porirua City Council and Wellington City Council. Co-ordination on the day will be provided by Mountains to Sea Wellington, which delivers inspiring freshwater and marine education programmes for schools and communities across the greater Wellington region. It connects people to nature, building understanding through science and exploration, and fostering kaitiakitanga (guardianship) for the environment.

Key information

What: Ngāti Toa Shellfish Survey.

Where: Saturday – 7:00am at Whitireia Polytechnic car park

Sunday – 8:00am Paremata Park and Ride (off Paremata Roundabout).

Breakfast supplied

Sign up: If you are interested please complete a registration form at the Mountains to Sea, Wellington, website: https://goo.gl/forms/ltvMMeSOfr1pxiPj1

Due to health and safety requirements, participants must be over 18 years old, or over 12 years old if they have an adult to help them. Enquires can be emailed to [email protected]