Habi­tat restora­tion plans for wa­ter­way

Northern Outlook - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - EMMA DANGER­FIELD

Wa­ter could start flow­ing clearer and cleaner around the Waimakariri district fol­low­ing a coun­cil de­ci­sion to sign off on the Cam River En­hance­ment pro­ject.

The pro­ject, which will start at the spring­head, will fo­cus on habi­tat restora­tion and im­prove­ments, and while it is not seen as be­ing a to­tal fix for the wa­ter qual­ity is­sues, it is a good start.

Waimakariri District coun­cil­lor Kevin Fel­stead, who sits on the Cam River En­hance­ment Fund Sub­com­mit­tee, said this was a good idea which had been well­con­sid­ered.

The funds had been ac­cu­mu­lated some time ago, he said, but de­lays in­clud­ing earthquakes had got in the way of works pro­gress­ing.

It was timely that the money would al­low works to be­gin now with the re­fo­cus on fresh­wa­ter and wa­ter­way man­age­ment, Fel­stead said.

The ap­proved al­lo­ca­tions from the fund in­clude $114,000 for pri­ori­tised projects, $37,000 for works on the Tuahiwi Stream which have been scoped by En­vi­ron­ment Can­ter­bury (ECan) and $50,000 for works be­low a spring­head in the Fern­side area at a trib­u­tary of the South Brook.

Fel­stead said a fur­ther re­port on the fu­ture role of the sub­com­mit­tee would be brought to coun­cil fol­low­ing com­ple­tion of all of the phys­i­cal works which are un­der­taken through the fund.

‘‘It is a re­ally good cross­sec­tion of in­ter­ested peo­ple and I cer­tainly think it would be worth­while to keep the group ac­tive as an ad­vi­sory group on sim­i­lar mat­ters,’’ he said.

‘‘This work is re­ally just a drop in the ocean when we look at all the water­ways in the district.’’

Fel­stead said the sub­com­mit­tee com­prised mem­bers of coun­cil, ECan, Ngai Tahu and For­est and Bird, wll of whom had valu­able con­tri­bu­tions to make.

The Cam River En­hance­ment Fund was set up some years ago af­ter the En­vi­ron­ment Court ruled against the Ran­giora Sewage Treat­ment Plant dis­charg­ing into South Brook.

The coun­cil was re­quired to pro­vide $25,000 per year for five years for habi­tat restora­tion in the Cam River sys­tem, with $208,437 now avail­able for al­lo­ca­tion for habi­tat restora­tion.

Projects in­clude sed­i­ment traps, sed­i­ment re­moval and bed rak­ing, wet­land drainage and bank re­shap­ing.

EMMA DANGER­FIELD/STUFF

The Cam River is a trib­u­tary of the Ka­iapoi River.

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