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Whakamana te Waituna

Whakamana te Waituna Work Streams

Whakamana te Waituna Update

The Whakamana te Waituna team acknowledge there hasn’t been much communication about the work programme to date, and are working on improving this for next year. As some of you are aware, the programme has a new project manager, Justin Adams, with the departure of Nikki Tarbutt earlier in the year. With the change in personnel this was the right time for the programme to take a pause to check all the necessary plans, systems and processes are up-to-date to ensure things run smoothly.

As an overview, the work programme has been divided into eight work streams which will coordinate existing work, as well as identify new opportunities. They are as follows:

  • Leadership and coordination
  • Iwi/rūnanga development
  • Awareness and engagement
  • Contaminant reduction
  • Biodiversity and pest management
  • Lagoon health and hydrology
  • Resilient and adaptive rural community
  • Recreation and tourism.

More detail on these work streams will be provided in the new year, in the meantime, a basic outline of what they cover is below.

Leadership and Coordination

Essentially the project management of Whakamana te Waituna.

Iwi/Rūnanga Development

This focuses on the Mahinga Kai Pa Plan and its aspirations for reconnecting Iwi with Waituna. This plan was recently shared at Hui a iwi, which is the biennial ‘gathering’ of the Ngāi Tahu tribe(s). This year the hui was jointly hosted by the four Southland based rūnanga/runaka. These hui are ideal for engaging whanau and raising awareness of various projects and programmes being undertaken within the tribe. Following this engagement with whanau, iwi would now like to share this with the Waituna community at a meal hosted at Te Rau Aroha Marae in Bluff, from 5:30pm on 12 March 2020. More details on this will be circulated in the new year.

Awareness and Engagement

It’s important that everyone has an understanding of what Whakamana te Waituna is about and aims to achieve. This will make sure that those living, working and recreating in Waituna have an increased awareness of, and engagement with the work of Whakamana te Waituna.

Contaminant Reduction

Working together to put in place various methods on private and public land that will reduce nutrients and sediment entering waterways while maintaining economically viable businesses, for example the use of sediment traps.

Biodiversity and Pest Management

This involves coordinating existing work and identifying new opportunities to increase biodiversity. Over the last few months the Whakamana te Waituna Trust partners have been consulting with the community on options for enhancing biodiversity across the Waituna Catchment, and for improving the ecological diversity and water quality in Waituna Creek. Three workshops were held at the Oteramika Hall. An online survey was also run at the same time. While attendance at workshops was low, a lot of valuable feedback was obtained as the small group size encouraged people to have their say.

The conversations at each workshop covered a variety of biodiversity related issues for Waituna. In terms of priorities, a recurring theme was the importance of water quality, followed by more control of predators, pests and weeds.

All the feedback received from these meetings and the online survey is still being collated. It will then be developed into a more specific work plan and reported back to the community, with the opportunity to contribute further before the plan is finalised and work starts.

Lagoon Health and Hydrology

Stabilising the lagoon in a moderately disturbed ecological state. This includes land purchase to provide a buffer around the lagoon, development of a long term consent for managing lagoon openings, and ensuring the bridge on Waghorn Road provides access to the lagoon.

Resilient and Adaptive Rural Community

Working with and supporting land users to develop and implement practices that help future-proof their businesses so they remain viable (socially and economically).

Recreation and Tourism

Identifying how the area is used, why and by whom. Along with what people want to see in the area, and what they would like to be able to do. For example there may be opportunities for development of tourism and other enterprises, as well as increasing recreational and cultural use.

Waituna Lagoon. Photo by Katrina Robertson.