Ducks Unlimited
Tuesday, 02 April 2019 08:05

Matthews Lagoon project approved

Written by Alison Murray
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Matthews Lagoon project Matthews Lagoon project

A proposal to divert water from Matthews Lagoon through Wairio wetland has been given the green light.

DU President Ross Cottle says he is delighted that the consent process has been finalised and work on “the final major part of the Wairio story to get a permanent water supply” is about to begin.

The project, a collaboration with Ducks Unlimited, the Department of Conservation and Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) is part of a longer term plan to restore the eastern shores of Lake Wairarapa to a fully functioning wetland with thriving native flora and fauna, says Aprille Gillon, GWRC biodiversity advisor – wetlands.

Diverting water from the lagoon will lead to increased water levels in Wairio, and a better habitat for wetland plants and birds. It will also play a vital role in better filtering nutrients and sediment from the water. 

Runoff from 1000 hectares of farmland is pumped into Matthews Lagoon via Te Hopai Pump Station and this water ends up in Lake Wairarapa by travelling through two culverts into the Oporua Spillway and out of a drain. 

A 10-year resource consent has been granted for the work to build the diversion into Wairio wetland and it will involve creating a channel for water to flow into a low-lying area at the northern end of the wetland. 

“We are currently creating a fish passage monitoring plan as well as a restoration project monitoring plan,” Aprille says. “We’re looking forward to seeing how this project develops and closely monitoring the impact on wetland habitat as well as water quality.”

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