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4 Nov 2016

Nelson celebrates the sucess of Project Maitai/Mahitahi

Nelson’s investment in protecting its environment has proven to be successful, with the Maitai/Mahitahi River winning an award for the second most improved river nationally.

This remarkable achievement has been realised through the Nelson City Council’s Project Maitai/Mahitahi. This project focuses on the environmental health of the Maitai/Mahitahi River and its tributaries over a four-year period, and only started in July 2014.  Council has formed significant partnerships throughout the community as part of this project, which has helped to achieve such a significant success in a short space of time.

Mayor Reese acknowledged those partnerships and the effort everyone has put into looking after the health of our river.  

“The Maitai/Mahitahi project has been a partnership with iwi, community groups (such as the Friends of the Maitai), schools, government agencies and private companies. Working together we have taken huge steps towards restoring and protecting our beautiful river.

“The Maitai/Mahitahi is important to each and every one of us as a source of water, as a flood channel, and as a place to swim, fish, walk, cycle, take time out or picnic. And of course, the river is also of immense significance to iwi. We will continue to work to protect the Maitai/Mahitahi for the benefit of those that enjoy it today, and for generations to come”.

Project Maitai/Mahitahi is just one part of Council’s broader focus to enhance the environmental outcomes for the region. It contributes to the larger Nelson Nature Project, which aims to restore the region’s natural environment.

Information from the New Zealand River Awards:

Maitai River, Nelson
Trend Improvement in MCI: 2.9%pa

The Awards, organised by the NZ Rivers Trust and Morgan Foundation, were determined, this year, by the monitored trend improvement in the macroinvertebrate community index (MCI).

The improving trend in the MCI in the Maitai reflects several factors including:

  • A steady expansion of riparian planting, particularly near the camping ground
  • Reduced levels and improved management of exotic forest harvesting in the immediate catchment over the past decade
  • Changes to the way the reservoir is managed to enhance the health of the river

Based on the monitoring data collected at Groom Road, midway between the reservoir and the city, the Maitai River in Nelson has recorded a nearly 3% pa improvement in the MCI over the past decade, making it the second most improved river in New Zealand at this year’s NZ River Awards.