Piako Catchment Forum Oct 2020

Piako Catchment Forum Oct 2020

Piako Catchment Forum Showcase of Environmental Work

Thursday 22nd October
Kiwitahi Hall and Topehaehae Gully field trip

Around 40 people attended the Piako Catchment Forum’s Showcase of Environmental work, supported by the NZ Landcare Trust.

The day started with a welcome from Norm Mason and health and safety briefing from Nardene Berry from NZ Landcare Trust. We had morning tea, which was followed by seven presentations from members of the Piako Catchment Forum and others.

Anita Richmond, Piako Catchment Forum founder started by sharing how the Forum came about, and what projects the group are working on. There is a handout which you can download from the bottom of this page highlighting the different projects going on (A. Piako Catchment Forum Showcase_Handout), and an on-line map of these projects has also been created.

If you would like to get involved in any of these projects, please contact the person in the handout directly. If you would like to add a project to the map, please contact Nardene Berry at the NZ Landcare Trust. A PDF of Anita’s presentation can be downloaded below (1_PCF background_Anita). Connecting the Waitoa handout is also available as a PDF below (C. Connecting the Waitoa).

Piako Catchment Forum Oct 2020

Norm Mason, Piako Catchment Forum member, was the next presenter, who focused on the work he is doing with the local Te Kura o Waharoa in regards to our native long tailed bat, as well as restoration of remnant kahikatea fragments on private, Māori and public land. A PDF of Norm’s presentation can be downloaded below (2_Norm Mason catchment scale).

David Sing and Wayne Berry, both local farmers, briefly talked about the water quality mitigations they had started to undertake on their farms, then handed over to Dr Rebecca Eivers to give the low down on the scientific side of the water quality monitoring. A PDF of Rebecca’s presentation can be downloaded below (3_WQ Mitigations at the farm scale) and the handout about this project is also available as a PDF (B. Milington Dairies Project Summary).

Milan Radonich, from Clean up the River Campaign, spoke about how he had initially set aside nine hours to clean up a section of the Morrinsville walkway, but has since put in many more hours than that and it will take quite a few more too! He and a passionate group of volunteers are removing Tradescantia fluminensis (also known as Wandering willie), and composting it off-site, with the plans to replant this area of riverbank with missing understory species and turn it into an attractive walkway everyone can enjoy. Tradescantia fluminensis is toxic to dogs, and they can develop contact dermatitis (itching and skin eruptions) if they come into contact with the plant. More about the Clean up the River Campaign in the PDF below (4_Clean up the River).

Piako Catchment Forum Oct 2020

John Vosper, local farmer, then spoke about the Bridge to Bridge project which involves all landowners between the two bridges of Puketutu Road and Station Road, who are committed to improving and protecting the Waitoa River. Each farm has a Farm Environment Plan (FEP) completed, which identified areas of risk. Riparian margins have been increased and planting plans are being implemented. A PFD of John’s presentation can be downloaded below (5_Bridge to Bridge Project).

Te Aroha Drummond then presented to the group about eco-sourcing versus natural selection of native plant seeds. There can be confusion about these terms and Te Aroha cleared that confusion up for us.

In between presentations, as time allowed, there were many interesting questions from the audience, with knowledge sharing between the audience also occurring. Our final presentation for the morning was from Jude Tisdall who provided us a background to the Topehaehae Gully Restoration project that we went to see after lunch. A PDF of Judes presentation and her words can be downloaded below (7_Topehaehae Gully_Jude and 8_Jude’s notes to go with presentation).

The passion and commitment for such great achievements were evident in all the speakers, including Jude who, along with Ron, have transformed an extremely weedy gully into a thriving native oasis.

Just before lunch the floor was open for audience members to talk about any projects they were involved in, and Mike O’Donnell spoke about the Upper Piako Wetlands Trust and Ezra Campbell from Matamata spoke about 'Swap Park: Our Place Matamata'.
After a great lunch catered by Loxy & Co (thanks Ron and Ric for going and collecting it for us), we headed out into the field just a few kilometers down the road from the Kiwitahi hall.

Below are a few photos from the gully which shows impressive growth, given the plantings are at most four and a half years old, and the huge native species diversity, as Jude pointed out there are 87 different native species in the gully (see handout D. Topehaehae gully plant species list).

Piako Catchment Forum Oct 2020

It was a scorcher of a day, so we were all pleased to get under some shade at the end and a big round of thanks to everyone who attended the day, all those who presented and helped in some way. The day could not have happened with out you all.

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