Water­care to re­vive the Hunua Ranges

Franklin County News - - PROPERTY FEATURE -

A large pri­vate for­est in the Hunua Ranges has been bought by Water­care.

The 1900-hectare com­mer­cial pine for­est, op­er­ated un­der a forestry right on land owned by Auck­land Coun­cil, was pur­chased from the Wayte­more Group ear­lier this year.

The for­est stretches as far as the Wairoa and Up­per Man­gatawhiri reser­voir catch­ments which are among four Water­care dams in the area sup­ply­ing around 65 per cent of Auck­land’s wa­ter. Water­care chief ex­ec­u­tive Raveen Jadu­ram says it’s an ‘‘ex­cit­ing pur­chase’’.

‘‘By own­ing the for­est, we are able to con­trol the forestry oper­a­tion and re­gen­er­ate the wa­ter sup­ply catch­ment with na­tive for­est decades ear­lier.’’ The time­frame for harvesting tim­ber is now re­duced. Orig­i­nally, harvesting would have con­tin­ued up to 2089 but now Water­care and Auck­land Coun­cil have agreed to shorten the term by about 45 years.

The land will be re­stored back to na­tive for­est by Water­care af­ter the cur­rent ro­ta­tions of pine trees are har­vested. Not only will this in­crease na­tive fauna and flora in the re­gion, it will also pro­vide more recre­ational op­por­tu­ni­ties for the pub­lic with­out the re­stric­tions im­posed by com­mer­cial forestry.

Auck­land Coun­cil’s Hunua Ranges Re­gional Park­land is less than hour’s drive south of Auck­land and fea­tures wa­ter­falls, creeks and large tracts of na­tive bush. The re­gion is a nat­u­ral play­ground for walk­ers and moun­tain bik­ers.

The ranges have a high rain­fall and the high el­e­va­tion means that wa­ter from Water­care’s dams flows by grav­ity to the Ard­more Wa­ter Treat­ment Plant.

A large pri­vate for­est in the Hunua Ranges has been bought by Water­care.

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