Jim Law reported that restoration work at the Wairio wetland this year had cost $9500, bringing DU’s total expenditure over the 13 years since the project began to more than $215,000.
A plan to divert water from Matthews Lagoon to the wetland on its way into Lake Wairarapa was still awaiting approval from the Greater Wellington Regional Council.
The council was continuing its predator control and its traps were serviced three or four times a year. Large numbers of mustelids and feral cats are still being caught, highlighting reinvasion as a serious problem. DOC was doing a good job of maintaining the bund wall walkways.
Wairarapa Moana, which encompasses Wairio, is included in a Treaty of Waitangi settlement, meaning ownership of the wetlands will be transferred to Ngati Kahungunu and Rangitane. Ngati Kahungunu, the principal iwi owner with 90 per cent, has indicated that it would like DU to carry on with its work and it will be business as usual. The iwi also wants to re-establish a Lake Wairarapa committee and it would like DU to be a part of that.