$5 million to Waiapu

The Waiapu River catchment. Picture supplied

The One Billion Trees Fund has provided a boost of up to $5 million to the East Cape to address key environmental issues in the Waiapu River catchment, Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced.

Led by the Whakaoratia te mana o te Waiapu Project a package of four projects will be delivered over the next 10 years.

“With support from the One Billion Trees Fund, this partnership is a significant step forward to restoring and future- proofing one of East Cape’s most rapidly eroding catchments,” Mr Jones said.

“We have a duty to communities in ‘at risk’ catchments like the Waiapu to do more.

“If nothing is done, there will be significant social, economic and environmental costs for the community.”

The projects include the construction of a series of debris dams across the Waiapu catchment, a river corridor project, establishment of a nursery to support riparian planting, and capacity building of employees in the region.

“Through these projects, we will see erosion control and better water quality, protection of the catchment, and social and economic gains for iwi and landowners,” Mr Jones said.

The Gisborne District Council will also provide a $1 million in-kind contribution to the project.

“For the Te Wiwi Nati Trust and Te Riu o Waiapu Trust Partnership, this funding means they can protect their land for future generations,” trust representative Hilton Collier said.

“We are appreciative of the contributions from Government and Gisborne District Council to elevate the work of whanau and hapu with this generous koha.

“As kaitiaki and mana whenua of the Waiapu, our duty is to ensure we build on the legacy of our tipuna and to leave our land and water for the benefit of our descendants,” Mr Collier said.

Gisborne District Council and Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou have a joint management agreement in place for the Waiapu River.

The river has the highest amount of sediment per volume of any river in New Zealand.

Approximately eight hectares of productive flats are lost annually to riverbank erosion, caused by the river and its tributaries.

“If nothing is done, it would have cost approximately $28 million in lost productive returns and land by 2028,” Mr Jones said.

“On top of this, if erosion remains untreated in key areas, models suggest there is the potential for current erosion and sedimentation to double by 2050.

“The catchment would experience even greater physical damage, the area’s agricultural production would decline, and social deprivation would worsen.”

■ Long-time lobbyist for Waiapu River protection works, and riverbank landowner Warwick Olsen, said the announcement was disappointing.

“It seems like a large sum of money, but how it is to be spent is disappointing.

“When you break it down over 10 years it won’t be enough in my view to fully address the problem of Waiapu riverbank erosion,” he said. “There is no actual plan to achieve what is needed, and I would have thought a plan would have been in place before money was allocated.”

The One Billion Trees Fund has provided a boost of up to $5 million to the East Cape to address key environmental issues in the Waiapu River catchment, Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced.

Led by the Whakaoratia te mana o te Waiapu Project a package of four projects will be delivered over the next 10 years.

“With support from the One Billion Trees Fund, this partnership is a significant step forward to restoring and future- proofing one of East Cape’s most rapidly eroding catchments,” Mr Jones said.

“We have a duty to communities in ‘at risk’ catchments like the Waiapu to do more.

“If nothing is done, there will be significant social, economic and environmental costs for the community.”

The projects include the construction of a series of debris dams across the Waiapu catchment, a river corridor project, establishment of a nursery to support riparian planting, and capacity building of employees in the region.

“Through these projects, we will see erosion control and better water quality, protection of the catchment, and social and economic gains for iwi and landowners,” Mr Jones said.

The Gisborne District Council will also provide a $1 million in-kind contribution to the project.

“For the Te Wiwi Nati Trust and Te Riu o Waiapu Trust Partnership, this funding means they can protect their land for future generations,” trust representative Hilton Collier said.

“We are appreciative of the contributions from Government and Gisborne District Council to elevate the work of whanau and hapu with this generous koha.

“As kaitiaki and mana whenua of the Waiapu, our duty is to ensure we build on the legacy of our tipuna and to leave our land and water for the benefit of our descendants,” Mr Collier said.

Gisborne District Council and Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou have a joint management agreement in place for the Waiapu River.

The river has the highest amount of sediment per volume of any river in New Zealand.

Approximately eight hectares of productive flats are lost annually to riverbank erosion, caused by the river and its tributaries.

“If nothing is done, it would have cost approximately $28 million in lost productive returns and land by 2028,” Mr Jones said.

“On top of this, if erosion remains untreated in key areas, models suggest there is the potential for current erosion and sedimentation to double by 2050.

“The catchment would experience even greater physical damage, the area’s agricultural production would decline, and social deprivation would worsen.”

■ Long-time lobbyist for Waiapu River protection works, and riverbank landowner Warwick Olsen, said the announcement was disappointing.

“It seems like a large sum of money, but how it is to be spent is disappointing.

“When you break it down over 10 years it won’t be enough in my view to fully address the problem of Waiapu riverbank erosion,” he said. “There is no actual plan to achieve what is needed, and I would have thought a plan would have been in place before money was allocated.”

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Tanya Henry - 3 months ago
E hika! Yes, lots of money . . . engari Tena . . . maybe . . . e te iwi e . . . we stop farming cattle . . . milk is not even good for us . . . we should stop planting pine, harvest and build homes with what's still in our ground . . . and replant natives as we clear pine . . . get rid of privet as well. I know our tamariki have suffered enough with asthma and exzema . . . maybe we should stop farming for export, and farm to feed ourselves . . . grow trees to house ourselves . . . then they can stick their millions elsewhere. It's our whenua . . . I also feel VERY STRONGLY that Waiapu District Council should be re-established so that Waiapu may flourish.

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