Coun­cil re­stores river­bank

Waikato News - - Front Page -

Waikato Re­gional Coun­cil has worked with the Tu­ran­gawae­wae Trust Board to re­store a key sec­tion of river­bank ad­ja­cent to the iconic marae at Ngaru­awahia.

The restora­tion re­ceived nearly $300,000 from the Waikato River Author­ity.

In an im­por­tant first stage of the Tu­ran­gawae­wae marae river­bank restora­tion project, an ero­sion­prone sec­tion of the river­bank was re­stored to its for­mer glory and for­ti­fied for in­ten­sive use over years to come.

Earth­works were un­der­taken in the sum­mer of 2015-16.

A bat­ter slope was formed, the cul­vert dis­charge area was ti­died up and ground has been sta­bilised with fi­bre cloth and new plant­ing.

The river­bank sec­tion re­stored is used fre­quently by the lo­cal com­mu­nity and is an im­por­tant part of reg­u­lar waka rac­ing.

‘Foot-friendly’ plant­ing on the re­stored river­bank was es­sen­tial so peo­ple could eas­ily reach the wa­ter bare­foot, as was plant­ing that wouldn’t ob­struct peo­ple’s views, and this is where coun­cil ex­per­tise has helped.

“Pick­ing the right plant was a bit of a tough nut to crack but in the end we think we’ve found it, the carex gau­dichau­di­ana,” says coun­cil river man­age­ment of­fi­cer Rus­sell Pow­ell.

“It is a grass-like species, that can help sta­bilise the fine silty sand soil of the river­bank, but is not as hard and sharp as some of the other plants we’ve used in the past.”

On­go­ing mon­i­tor­ing will de­ter­mine whether the new species be­ing used is best for the area.

With the bank restora­tion com­pleted, an ad­vi­sory group— in­volv­ing the board, the coun­cil, Mer­cury and Ge­n­e­sis Energy— is look­ing into the next steps to fur­ther en­hance the area. Plant­ing to pre­vent ac­cess to the main stormwa­ter out­let and in­stalling a board­walk and a waka boat ramp are be­ing looked at.

The re­stored sec­tion of river­bank be­fore and af­ter the works.

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