GDC needs to support Waimata efforts

LETTER

Heartfelt thanks to all those who attended two jam-packed, exciting meetings on Sunday to discuss the future of the Waimata River. The Te Awaroa team hugely enjoyed the opportunity to share their research into the life of the river, past, present and future, and to meet with you all. Many thanks too for the messages of support, and the great practical suggestions.

Those who attended the meetings are very clear that they want to see urgent action to improve the state of the Waimata River. As Prof. Gary Brierley explained, since this river acts like a chute, whatever enters the water upstream is likely to end up in the port, the harbour and on beaches, posing costly risks to the Gisborne community.

People were fascinated and impressed by Sheridan Gundry’s account of how the river has behaved over time, and the pleasure it gives the wider community. Dan Hikuroa’s eloquent description of the “voice of the river”, and the benefits of working together to take care of the ora (well-being) of a river; and Abigail Salmond’s keen insights into the life of plants, animals and people around the Waimata were greatly appreciated.

The message was very clear that Gisborne District Council must move quickly to support a community-led approach to taking care of the Waimata River, and to recognise the risks that this catchment presents to the community if it is not properly managed. They are keen to take action and have a say in the process.

These messages were well received by GDC and DoC staff who met with the Te Awaroa team on Monday. A collaborative approach is now under way. The community-led planning process for the Waimata will begin with initiatives upriver, and a meeting after Christmas, and will reach out to all those who care about the future of the river.

The Waimata River reports and a full report-back on the meeting with GDC are posted on the Waikereru Ecosanctuary website at: www.waikereru.org

Anne Salmond

Heartfelt thanks to all those who attended two jam-packed, exciting meetings on Sunday to discuss the future of the Waimata River. The Te Awaroa team hugely enjoyed the opportunity to share their research into the life of the river, past, present and future, and to meet with you all. Many thanks too for the messages of support, and the great practical suggestions.

Those who attended the meetings are very clear that they want to see urgent action to improve the state of the Waimata River. As Prof. Gary Brierley explained, since this river acts like a chute, whatever enters the water upstream is likely to end up in the port, the harbour and on beaches, posing costly risks to the Gisborne community.

People were fascinated and impressed by Sheridan Gundry’s account of how the river has behaved over time, and the pleasure it gives the wider community. Dan Hikuroa’s eloquent description of the “voice of the river”, and the benefits of working together to take care of the ora (well-being) of a river; and Abigail Salmond’s keen insights into the life of plants, animals and people around the Waimata were greatly appreciated.

The message was very clear that Gisborne District Council must move quickly to support a community-led approach to taking care of the Waimata River, and to recognise the risks that this catchment presents to the community if it is not properly managed. They are keen to take action and have a say in the process.

These messages were well received by GDC and DoC staff who met with the Te Awaroa team on Monday. A collaborative approach is now under way. The community-led planning process for the Waimata will begin with initiatives upriver, and a meeting after Christmas, and will reach out to all those who care about the future of the river.

The Waimata River reports and a full report-back on the meeting with GDC are posted on the Waikereru Ecosanctuary website at: www.waikereru.org

Anne Salmond

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