28/05/2019 4:00:00 p.m.
28 May 2019
Whanganui District Council is working with Horizons Regional Council and local groups on the continued enhancement of Awarua Stream in Putiki. The stream flows from farmland between No. 2 Line and State Highway 3, then under State Highway 3 and Airport Road, and into the Whanganui River near Corliss Island.
From this week, overgrown willow trees will be removed from the lower reaches of the stream. Following that, local school children will assist with planting the banks of the stream with flax and pittosporum.
Whanganui District Council’s Senior Stormwater Engineer, Kritzo Venter, says Awarua Stream is an important whitebait and eel fishery, and has a high level of cultural importance. He says the layout of the new vegetation has been planned to take local white-baiting and eeling locations into consideration.
Mr Venter says the work will enhance the stream by clearing obstructions, improving the stream’s capacity and creating aquatic habitat.
“We’ve met with local landowners to discuss the work and they’ve been really engaged and supportive.
“Stream improvements are beneficial for landowners because they stabilise the land, controlling erosion and helping prevent flooding”.
This round of improvements will run until the end of October, and will include upgrading the Awarua Stream culvert at Wikitoria Road.
The current cycle of work follows on from earlier stream improvements which kicked off in 2013. These included riparian planting, fencing the margins of the stream to protect it from stock and constructing fish passages by lowering culverts and adding rocks to the water flow, enabling fish to swim to breeding areas.
Over the next three years, further Awarua Stream enhancement work is in the pipeline. This will include vegetation control, riparian planting, and maintenance of existing stream contours.
The work on Awarua Stream is partly funded by the Whanganui River Enhancement Trust and is part of the Healthy Streams initiative, which is a community project led by Whanganui District Council in partnership with local Iwi, Horizons Regional Council, government departments, charitable trusts, commercial businesses and landowners. The aim of the initiative is to keep waterways in our district healthy and functioning well.