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[8] Visit to Wairio Wetland by the Wairarapa Moana Wetlands Governance Group

 
 
 
 

Ross Cottle & Jim Law
welcome the
Wairarapa Moana Wetland
Governance Group

Ross Cottle and Jim Law, on behalf of Ducks Unlimited (DU), welcomed the Wairarapa Moana
Wetlands Governance Group to the Stage 1 site of the Wairio Wetlands on March 5 (See Photo 2).
The group was led by Fran Wilde, who is also Chair of the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC),
and included Adrian Staples, Mayor of the South Wairarapa District Council, Iwi representatives and
both DOC and GWRC personnel.

Ross welcomed the group and provided a brief synopsis of DU’s 37 years’ work restoring wetlands
throughout New Zealand. He also advised that the Wairio Restoration Project was currently DU’s
largest project. Jim then shared the vision for the wetland – “to recreate a pristine wetland providing
habitat for waterfowl and aquatic species, something akin to what would have existed prior to man’s
intervention”.

The Group was then taken on a tour through Stage I no sooner had the Group entered the Wetland
than a Bittern flew overhead! This was considered by all to be a great omen and a definite sign of
progress.The Group was then taken on a tour through Stage I and were impressed with both the
recent 2011 plantings and plantings going back 5 years (See Photo 2). The 2011 plantings covered
two different site preparation methods; one area had the fescue cover scraped off by a bulldozer
while the other site was left intact and spot sprayed in the more normal manner. The Group was
advised that the 2012 plantings were all at Stage 3 and in accordance with a research programme conducted by Bridget Johnson, a Masters student from Victoria University’s School for Biodiversity
and Restoration Science. The two different site preparation methods were repeated in 2012 and
other planting and maintenance variables added. Results will be monitored and hopefully cost
effective processes determined. The Group was very impressed that a scientific element had
been added to the Restoration Project and Fran Wilde hoped that the results would ultimately
be applied around the Lake, to the wider Wairarapa and beyond!

In all, it was a most successful visit with the Group very impressed with the actual results to date
and supportive of the indicative plans for 2012. These are hoped to be based on a near doubling
of the 2011 planting budget.

Although coincidental, it was opportune that the Group’s visit followed the Government’s announce-
ment of a special $1 million of extra funding for the clean-up of Wairarapa Moana, including for work
on restoring wetlands – something that DU has been doing at Wairio for 6 years! DU had supported
GWRC’s application for this funding and the Wairio Wetland was mentioned as one of the few sites
around the Lake where progress had been achieved. “Some assistance to supplement our budget
would be just fine” quipped Ross.
 

EVENTS


APRIL 2012

AGM 2012
March 16 -18 2012 | Ohakune
 
100 Target Shoot
April 25th 2012 | Wairarapa
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
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