Habitat restoration plans for waterway
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.
The Cam River is a tributary of the Kaiapoi River.