Project Title: Ōtākaro-Avon River Restoration Project

Canterbury

Region:
Canterbury

Metres Planted:
690 m

Volunteer Hours:
HRS

Location: Anzac Drive Reserve – a small tributary that runs from Travis Wetland to the Ōtākaro-Avon River

GPS Coordinates: -43.4992 , 172.7005

Project Cost: NZD $16915

Cost per Metre: NZD $24.5

Metres to be planted: 680m

Field Partner: Sustainable Coastlines

Project ID: SI2

Project Description:

Ngāi Tahu and Avon-Ōtākaro Network are leading the Mahinga Kai Exemplar (MKE) Project in Anzac Drive Reserve.

We are partnering with Sustainable Coastlines’ “Love Your Water” programme to plant a wide area of stream bank in July 2016. We are crowd-funding to cover the costs of this next stage and are aiming to plant along 680 metres of a small tributary that connects Travis Wetland with the Ōtākaro-Avon River.

You can get behind the restoration of native ecosystems as part of the earthquake recovery by buying a metre of stream planting in Christchurch. The MKE project is supported by the Department of Conservation and Christchurch City Council, and we have planted over 4000 plants here since 2014. This also included planting 1000 plants in collaboration with Sustainable Coastlines in 2015.

This area was dramatically affected by the earthquakes, including significant land subsidence, changes to the water table and tidal zone, and increasing sediment impacting the natural drainage here. Stream courses have changed, and areas that used to be dry are now permanently inundated with water, or have tidal fluctuations that never used to reach those areas – this has increased salinity in those areas as well.   

The Exemplar is bounded by the red zone where residential housing and vegetation has now been removed, leaving large expanses of open space where multitudes of Canada Geese congregate to graze. These flocks foul both the land and water and if we can plant out the MKE and restore large open spaces with thriving native ecosystems we can reduce the amount of harmful pollutants entering our waterways.

Mahinga Kai is a key Ngāi Tahu value recognised in the Ngāi Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998. It has been recognised as a priority of the Natural Environment Earthquake Recovery Programme. Mahinga Kai is central to the culture and identity of mana whenua and Ngāi Tahu. It was specifically recognised and protected in Kemp’s Deed 1848 and was advanced in its own right within Te Kerēme, the Ngāi Tahu historic treaty claim.

Mahinga Kai shows how cultural beliefs and practices of mana whenua and Ngāi Tahu are linked to Te Ao Tūroa (the natural environment) which is exercised by kaitiakitanga. It describes not only the natural resources that mana whenua gather throughout the takiwā, but also the places and practices they use in doing so. It includes direct and indirect use of those resources for ceremonies, medicine and sustenance.

Fitting with the Mahinga Kai concept, the MKE at Anzac Reserve is designed as an example of best practice restoration principles that could be used throughout the red zone, as well as being a teaching tool for local schools. Our aim is to restore native ecosystems and to educate young people about the ways that plants, waterways and the land can provide sustenance, resources, and safe and clean habitats.

Riparian planting helps to filter contaminants and sediment that run into the river and taller species will eventually shade the stream, providing cool waters and habitat that is essential for the survival of the native fish and invertebrates that usually live in this stream. Species include carex, harakeke, coprosma, ti kouka etc, and lowland podocarp planting – kahikatea, hinau, matai, kowhai and horoeka. The taller mixed podocarp trees and shrubs also do their bit in cleaning the water and creating habitat for birds and insects – in turn adding to food sources for fish.

The funds raised through this crowd-funding campaign will see another 2000 plants planted at the site this winter, in the southwest corner of the reserve. The planting will help restore habitats, in particular supporting inanga (whitebait), which like to spawn in the area, but need the right habitat to do so.

Thank you so much for any support you can give to our project – either by donating and/or sharing with your friends and networks.

Find out more about the Mahinga Kai Exemplar here