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Restoring our Wetlands

In mid-October Ōtautahi/Christchurch hosted the 11th International Wetlands Conference. What had been planned as a face-to-face event, was hosted as a virtual event due to Covid restrictions. 

A highlight of the conference was the launch of the documentary Whakaora Te Ahuriri – A Wetland for Te Waihora. The documentary takes viewers on a journey to discover the history of the lagoon from mana whenua and settler through to the current restoration project.

The project is part of the wider Whakaora Te Waihora Joint Restoration Programme: To restore and rejuvenate the mauri and ecosystem health of Te Waihora and its catchment. Co -governance partners include Environment Canterbury, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Selwyn District Council, Christchurch City Council and the Department of Conservation.

“Whakaora Te Ahuriri is an excellent example of traditional knowledge and innovative science coming together, of a culturally-led project, of collaboration and consensus, and of a constructed wetland at landscape scale,” say the Co-Chairs of the Te Waihora Co-Governance Group, Liz Brown (Ngāi Tahu) and Jenny Hughey (Environment Canterbury).

Citycare Property is proud to have been a part of this restoration project after we were awarded the terrestrial planting contract in 2019. Over 55,000 Carex species were planted. Around 70 species of Carex are native to New Zealand and many are ideal for wetland plantings. Since the initial planting, an additional 3500 plants have been planted and the Citycare Property team continues to manage the maintenance for the area.

“The Whakaora Te Ahuriri project is not just an example of a magnificent project to construct a wetland to improve water quality, mahinga kai and biodiversity values, but also an example of strong partnerships across the community where mana whenua, farmers, local government, consultants, contractors, staff, and students came together to deliver an outstanding result. The planting work undertaken by Citycare Property was obviously an important component in the overall project, and the ongoing maintenance will ensure solid foundations for the longer term,” said David Murphy, Team Leader - Partnership Programmes at Environment Canterbury, who helped co-ordinate the Whakaora Te Ahuriri project and production of the documentary.

You can view the documentary here Whakaora Te Ahuriri, A Wetland for Te Waihora - YouTube


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