Whakapoukorero Te Arawa wetland restoration project
September 2016 update
Three hectares of pampas has been removed and new open water areas have been created.
Community Corrections (PD) crews have planted about 1,500 plants and will plant a further 2,500 during October.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council staff are now assessing water levels and flows to inform our next steps that will aim to improve summer water levels and habitat for inanga and other whitebait species.
About the project
Te Arawa Lakes Trust (the landowners) are working to restore the 22 hectare Whakapoukorero wetland, in partnership with the Regional and District councils and community volunteers (Maketu Project Team).
Whakapoukorero Wetland is one of the last remaining areas of the historic Kawa Swamp which once covered a 6,500 hectare area near Maketu.
Before the wetland was drained for farming, it provided food, trade and building materials to Te Arawa tupuna. It was a place that taonga like tuna (eels) and matuku (Australasian bittern) could thrive in. It provided a filter that trapped sediment and nutrients as rainwater ran off the land and into the Maketu/Ongatoro Estuary.
The wetland has become degraded over time but remains home to rare wildlife including two threatened fern species and many native wetland birds.
By improving water flows and removing weeds, like pampas, the mauri (life force) and natural function of the wetland can start to be restored. It will help to bring cleaner water and more wildlife to the Maketū rohe.
Read the April 2016 media release about the start of this project.