Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Hamilton gully blessed with community spirit

Hamilton’s Mangaiti Gully was blessed by Te Haa o te Whenua o Kirikiriroa (THaWK) this week, celebrating the hard work by multiple community groups and organisations to restore the area’s native flora.

Council’s Infrastructure Operations Committee Chair, Councillor Angela O’Leary, spoke after the blessing, saying she was pleased to see the restoration and constructions works now complete.

“This has been a hugely successful effort between central government and community groups, which Council has been extremely proud to support,” said Councillor O’Leary.

“All these groups have come together with a unified vision for the gully – and what an outcome. It truly speaks to what we can collectively achieve when we come together, not only for the benefit of our community, but also for our natural areas and native wildlife.”

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Council’s vision for the 10-hectare gully area was to restore the native vegetation back to pre-European status.

“A total of over 70,000 individual plants have been planted. This work was also essential to preserve Hamilton’s biodiversity – including iconic native species such as bats, tuuii, bellbirds, kereruu – as well as our aquatic life such as fish and frogs,” said Cr O’Leary.

Part of the Kirikiriroa gully system in the city’s north-east, the Mangaiti project goal was to remove invasive weeds and replant native species.

Not just a habitat for a wide range of wildlife, the gully is now also part of the area’s walkway and cycleway systems. Through accessways, raised platforms and boardwalk tracks, the project helps link suburbs and provide the area with beautiful green spaces the community can now enjoy.

The restoration and construction efforts were a collaborative effort from the Department of Conservation’s Jobs for Nature Programme, Mangaiti Gully Restoration Trust, Go Eco Charitable Trust, Ngaati Wairere, Ngaati Haua Mahi Trust, HEB Construction, and Hamilton City Council.

The project, which began in 2020, was made possible by $2.375 million in central government water stimulus funding.

The Mangaiti Gully tracks and boardwalks opened to the public at the end of June.

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