Sunday, May 19, 2024

Kopurererua Valley realignment blessing marks key milestone

A blessing to mark the realignment of the northern stream in Kopurererua Valley has signified a key milestone in the partnership between Ngāi Tamarāwaho, Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Tauranga City Council.

For Ngāi Tamarāwaho representative, Buddy Mikaere, realigning and restoring the Kopurererua River and returning the stream to reinstate the path of his hapū’s kaitiaki (guardian) Taurikura, is something he’s proud to be a part of.

“The river is linked to our identity. For the hapū, the Waikareao Estuary and the Kopurererua Valley are collectively regarded as being the kete kai (food baskets) of Ngāi Tamarāwaho,” says Buddy.

The restoration of the Kopurererua wetland is the largest such project in the Southern Hemisphere. The return of the river to its original alignment recognises the need to restore this area to its natural environment, as well as to protect the ancestral Puketoromiro Pā and other archaeological sites in this valley.

“We look forward to working with Council and other community groups such as the Rotary Trust, to complete the restoration of what in time will be an amazing natural recreational asset to the city.”

Tauranga City Council General Manager: Community Services, Barbara Dempsey says working with Ngāi Tamarāwaho was extremely significant for Council.

“The Kopurererua Valley Reserve is a very precious place in Tauranga Moana and Tauranga will benefit from this work both culturally and environmentally,” she said.

“As well as realigning both the northern and southern streams, we’ve created adjacent wetland areas which have significant ecological benefits to support the health of the stream, and the Waikareao Estuary that it flows into. The realignment work has included the creation of a new cycle path and a new wetland at the Kopurererua Valley Reserve, a 364-hectare inner city reserve in Tauranga.”

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Principal Advisor Land and Water, Jackson Efford says the northern stream realignment marks another significant milestone in the project that will have positive impacts for future generations.

“We’ve enjoyed a very successful and collaborative partnership alongside Tauranga City Council and Ngāi Tamarāwaho to enhance the mauri (life force) of the Kopurererua Stream,” he said.

In coming weeks, the aquatic life from the old stream will be returned to the northern alignment, the old pump station will be removed, and riparian plantings will take place.

Latest Articles