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Community Site Visit for Upper Tukituki $10,000 Grant Project

Holly Ormond

The Upper Tukituki Catchment Group is using a $10,000 grant from Tukituki Land Care to undertake a showcase project on a short stretch of the Upper Tukituki River. The project aims to work with the river and address willow and shingle islands which are redirecting flow, leading to significant erosion and increased silt loads.

The group is keen to involve the wider community in the project and are inviting those wishing to hear more about it to a site visit on Sunday 29 October from 3pm to 5pm at 928 Blackburn Road. Speakers will discuss the project, river management, historical imaging and remedial work. A precision drone spraying demonstration will also take place.

“The grant from Tukituki Land Care will enable us to address crucial issues in our catchment”, says Hamish Bibby, Ongaonga farmer and chair of the Upper Tukituki Catchment Group. “In an effort to engage the local community we are organising a site visit to discuss our plans to address these issues”.

The Upper Tukituki has been battling with self propagating invasive willows growing in its channels and creating shingle ‘islands’ for many years. As the willows age, the extraction costs and the potential implications for those downstream increase significantly. “The intrusion of willow trees and the formation of shingle islands has diverted the river's path, causing erosion and disrupting vital habitats”, says Hamish.

The showcase project will focus on nine hectares of invasive willows growing in the channel on a short stretch of the Upper Tukituki River. The issues in the Upper Tukituki are similar to those in the Waipawa River and the Ongaonga stream and learnings will be shared across other catchments.

In September, Tukituki Land Care awarded grants to twelve Tukituki sub-catchment groups to fund projects with demonstration value. The grants offer an opportunity to trial something new while gaining valuable knowledge which can be shared and replicated across the region. As part of the Upper Tukituki project, Paul Stuitje has been contracted to project manage this work.

Save the Date:

What: Upper Tukituki Catchment community site visit

When: Sunday 29 October from 3pm to 5pm

Where: 928 Blackburn Road – 4 wheel drive access only. A shuttle will be available between 2.30pm and 3pm from the Bibby Family Church

This event is on farm so sturdy footwear is required

For further information, please contact Paul Stuitje on 0276273437

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