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Project Maitai Restoration Newsletter Jan-Mar 2015

Welcome to the Project Maitai/Mahitahi update for January-March 2015. There has been lots going on we are especially excited about the extension to the inanga spawning area at Shakespeare Walk, and the fantastic 3 minute video made for LAWA, featuring Ami Kennedy from the Friends of the Maitai, Susie Wood from Cawthron Institute, and Geoff Mullen and Brian McGurk from Nelson City Council . You can read more about it all below.

Welcome to the Project Maitai/Mahitahi update for January-March 2015. There has been lots going on we are especially excited about the extension to the inanga spawning area at Shakespeare Walk, and the fantastic 3 minute video made for LAWA, featuring Ami Kennedy from the Friends of the Maitai, Susie Wood from Cawthron Institute, and Geoff Mullen and Brian McGurk from Nelson City Council . You can read more about it all below.

You may notice we've moved to a new format for the newsletter. Please feel free to forward this to anyone who may be interested, or if you would like to unsubscribe please click the link at the bottom. You can contact me directly if you have any feedback. The next newsletter will be after 30 June and will include a summary of work completed on the 2014/15 financial year.

Here’s a brief update of what’s been going on:
 



Stream Biodiversity and Fish Passage: helping native fish and healthy stream critters make the Maitai/Mahitahi their home.

  • Information sign installed at Shakespeare Walk inanga spawning area, and earthworks completed to extend spawning area in time for February to April spawning event.
  • Spat rope and pump installed at Maitai reservoir spillway to trial a new fish pass.
  • Cawthron summer student project to monitor the extent of fish passage across South Branch weir completed.

River Gravel and Maitai Ford Investigations: understanding how best to manage gravel movement in the river, without causing negative environmental impacts, or increasing flood risk

  • NIWA gravel management strategy report work in progress.
  • Cawthron summer student project investigating sources of sediment and nutrient inputs into the Maitai River from a variety of tributaries completed.
  • Initial design to improve fish passage at the Waahi Taakaro Ford completed, and approval gained to proceed with detailed design.
  • Development of options for long term improvement of fish passage at Almond tree Flats ford in progress. This will be informed by the gravel management strategy report due by end of June.

E. coli Chasing: finding out where the bacteria in the swimming holes downstream of Riverside Pool are coming from, and fixing any sewerage leaks we find.

  • Stormwater outlets in lower Maitai River and Saltwater Creek were inspected at low tide in dry weather, and where they were running the source was investigated. No issues identified.
  • Rising mains (wastewater pipes running under the river in the lower reaches) were dye tested to check for leaks. Results pending.
  • Microbial source testing of E.coli samples from the swimming hole at Collingwood St Bridge showed a wide range of sources including dog, possum, ruminant, gull, wildfowl and human (but not sheep). Investigations are continuing.

Maitai Dam: improving the water quality from the Maitai Reservoir so that it doesn’t affect the river.

  • Data collection and analysis done to assess sourcing a greater portion of drinking water from the Maitai reservoir instead of the South Branch. Report due before June.
  • Cawthron summer student projects to monitor impact of back-feed water on macro invertebrate communities and on algal growth in progress.

Communications: letting the community know what is happening and how they can get involved

River Flows: changing flow rates from the Maitai Reservoir so they are more like natural river flows.

  • Received Cawthron report 2639 Updated flushing Flow and Habitat Analyses for the Maitai River, January 2015
  • Project scope changed to investigate increased daily flow levels instead of intermittent flushing flows on the basis of report findings.

Community Projects: matched funding for community projects that will help meet the goal of Project Maitai/Mahitahi.

  • Grant made to Nelson Colleges for monitoring equipment to support school freshwater monitoring programme.
  • Four grants now made in total

Forestry: working with stakeholders to reduce the potential impact of forestry operations on the river.

  • Field trip to key sites and discussions with project team to identify issues and opportunities.

Stock Fencing: making sure cattle can’t get into the river

  • Fencing of York Stream detention dam has been completed to prevent cattle access to upper York Stream. Upper bank planting is planned and weed control has been done.

Brook Culvert: making the Brook Stream as fish friendly as possible, while still reducing flood risk

  • Modelling of Brook and York Stream channel capacity is underway, with survey and ground work completed.

Riverside Planting: planting native trees, shrubs and grasses on the river banks to cool the water and provide habitat for native species, and to act as a filter to reduce contaminants and other materials entering the river

  • Draft planting plan for catchment in progress.
  • Planning underway for winter 2015/16 planting season. Public planting planned for June 6.

Programme management: managing programme budgets and risks, project delivery and stakeholder engagement

  • Workshops have been held with staff and key stakeholders to begin the process of deciding on the Project Maitai/Mahitahi priority projects for the 2015/16 year. Ten projects will be developed as business cases, and a separate update about the process and the proposed outcome will be sent out soon.

Please let me know if you would like more information about any of these projects or copies of previous updates, and check the Friends of the Maitai webpage to what’s happening and how you can get involved.
 
Kind regards
Jo Martin
jo.martin@ncc.govt.nz
Environmental Programmes Officer
Manager Maitai Programme
Nelson City Council / Te Kaunihera o Whakatû
03 545 8728