Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is celebrating improvements to its Te Karamū Stream corridor and habitat after five years of mahi with the community, and is looking to expand the project.
Regional Councillor, Craig Foss says Te Karamū was at the heart of the Heretaunga community connection with the environment from Poukawa basin to Clive.
“What’s been achieved along the Karamū so far is fantastic – it deserves a big ‘thank you’ to everyone involved,” said Councillor Foss.
“I also want the Regional Council to do a stocktake of what’s been achieved, to step up, be more ambitious and plan what else we can do along the 238 kilometres of this taonga.
“I want us to consider water quality, sediment, pollution and more. We could do a whole lot more using skills inside the Council and working with the community to look at all aspects of the health of Te Karamū.”
Regional Council Team Leader Open Spaces, Russell Engelke says the plan for enhancing the awa had been successful so far due to community support.
“We’ve worked with the community from the get-go to create an area they are now proud of and use all the time,” said Mr Engelke.
Building a plan called The Te Karamū Enhancement Strategy in 2016, he says the community wanted to focus on pest control, protecting wildlife and the habitat beside the awa, re-establishing ecosystems, and enhancing cultural, social and recreational values.
“Thanks to the community’s support and a lot of their mahi, we’re tracking really well to achieve the goals that we set. We’ve now planted 7.3 hectares of land beside Te Karamū to support habitat, wetland groves, and ecosystems. Over the next four years we’re looking at planting three hectares each year, adding around 12 hectares of habitat.”
“The project is tracking so well that by the end of this year we’ll have reached 100% of our planned priority planting. The plantings we’ll continue doing until 2025 are an added bonus.
“We’re also looking forward to recruiting a permanent role dedicated to Te Karamū to support the project and engage with the community, which is due to be signed off by the Regional Council as part of this year’s Long Term Plan.”
Council says that through this role there would be capacity to review the work programme to better plan and coordinate a whole of organisational approach to Te Karamū.
Find out more about Te Karamū on our website.