Feilding Herald : December 15th 2011
32 THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011 FEATURE Make a Family Smile This Christmas We are collecting toys and food for Feilding Families 75 Fergusson Street, Feilding. 4222657AA Please ensure toys are clean and placed under the Feilding Herald Christmas Tree before Wednesday December 21, 2011 499 Church St, Palmerston North Ph: (06) 356 8946 www.theocnz.com THINKING ABOUT BRACES? Choose the OC and choose a DCNZ Registered Specialist in Orthodontics Call now for an appointment with Dr Neil Tobin B.Ch.D (Hons), MFDS RCS (Eng), MFGDP RCS (Eng), M.Orth RCS (Eng), MRACDS, MSc (Leeds, UK) Interest free payments available! 4032054AA Whitebait restoration project needs helping hands to get off the ground By DENISE GUNN firstname.lastname@example.org Restoration needed: One of the sites, known as Stick Creek, visited during a recent field trip around Tangimoana to explore potential sites for restoration work. Photo: STELLA MCQUEEN '' Plans for restoring these sites include fencing to keep stock out, riparian planting to shade out weeds and provide shelter for adult inanga, and managing fish passage to ensure the inanga can travel upstream A recent field trip to explore poten- tial sites for whitebait habitat resto- ration work in Tangimoana proved successful but in order to achieve preservation of the species at a local level, more volunteers are needed to lend a hand. The field trip, organised by the Department of Conservation (DOC), visited three potential sites ident- ified by group members as suitable for restoration work. Whitebait are the young of some of New Zealand s precious native fish, collectively known as galaxiids. They spend six months at sea and then make their way up rivers and streams, some travelling up to 400km inland and living for up to 15 years. Some of the species likely to be caught in whitebait nets are ina- nga, koaro, banded kokopu, giant kokopu, shortjaw kokopu, smelt, bullies and juvenile eels. The first five are considered true whitebait. DOC community relations manager Kelly Stratford said restoring habitat to allow young whitebait to reach breeding age means more whitebait in the future. Plans for restoring these sites include fencing to keep stock out, riparian planting to shade out weeds and provide shelter for adult inanga, and managing fish passage to ensure the inanga can travel upstream. Ms Stratford said before this habitat restoration can begin, some work is needed to pave the way. This includes things like identifying landowners and get- ting them on board, sourcing suitable plants for riparian planting, and applying for funding. The field day followed several community meetings in Rongotea, Palmerston North and Foxton to discuss whitebait and freshwater issues. Ms Stratford said whitebaiters, farmers, environmentalists, local tangata whenua, and townsfolk all shared ideas and experiences to help build a picture of what is happening locally. DOC community relations manager Margaret Metcalfe said people had different reasons for being at the meetings but all had a common interest in improving the local whitebait habitat. From these meetings a core group of more than 20 people signed up to be part of a working group to help restore native fish populations in the Horowhenua, Manawatu and Rangitikei. The meetings were organised by Massey University fresh- water ecology masters student Stella McQueen and Tangimoana part-time resident Chrissy Paul, together with DOC and Horizons Regional Council staff. Tangimoana resident Hilary Robson has lived in village for 13 years and has an interest in maintaining New Zealand s native species. She attended the Rongotea meeting. I became interested in the native freshwater fish habitat restoration project, which includes whitebait of course, when I attended a very interes- ting presentation in Rongotea where Stella McQueen described the different native fish and what conditions they need to live in and particularly to reproduce in, said Ms Robson. "She asked the community to watch out for spawning places and to make sure we look after our fish habitats." She said part of the saltmarsh meadow community in Tangi- moana s estuary was destroyed when the boat launching ramp, carpark and road to it were installed. More land continues to be taken for parking at the ramp and the riverbanks which are home to some in-decline native plants are being rapidly eroded by boats nudging into them. Ms Robson said the sides of the road to the ramp have been colonised by introduced plants which are thriving and spread- ing into the remnants of the original saltmarsh meadow. She said another problem further inland in the estuary is bamboo. It changes the whole estuary ecosystem where fish live and spawn, by creating dry islands and smothering any other plants. Many people dump trailer loads of garden waste and other rubbish in the area and the gar- den weeds are spreading. Taiao Raukawa Environ- mental Trust project manager Dennis Emery attended two of the public meetings and is also a whitebaiter, fishing in the Manawatu and Rangitikei Rivers for many years. He represents the Ngati Raukawa tribe in this area, par- ticularly in cultural and environmental matters. I am a signatory to the Mana- watu River Leaders Accord and subsequent action plans and attended the Tangimoana site visit in my capacity of project manager for the trust, he said. Other kaumatua [elders]) and Ngati Parewahawaha [Bulls] were on the same visit and advised those present that I act for them as well. Mr Emery is also a Treaty claimant for Ngati Kauwhata and has tribal interests in the Rangitikei, Sanson, Taikorea, Kairanga and Feilding areas, with an overall responsibility to the hapu and iwi in close prox- imity to Tangimoana. Since attending the meetings, Mr Emery has spoken at marae and hapu hui in the region on this matter. Ms Stratford said the role of agencies like DOC and Horizons Regional Council is to provide support and advice but long- term success depends on the willingness of individuals in the community to take ownership and lead the action on the ground. Without a local champion at the helm, it will be very difficult for this work to gain any trac- tion. She said the project began as a community initiative and it is important that it is community- led. It is not about government agencies telling people what to do, it is about local people work- ing together to achieve some- thing good for their communi- ties. Ms Stratford said these local champions need to be good at communicating and organising others, and be passionate about ensuring future generations can enjoy all the benefits associated with healthy whitebait popu- lations. Contact Ms Stratford at DOC on 06 350 9708 or email her at email@example.com for further information. Giveway web page improved In preparation for the change of rules on who gives way to who at intersections and junctions, effective March 25, the NZ Transport Agency has updated its dedicated give way rule web page giveway. govt.nz. The change, which will bring New Zealand s rule into line with the most common international rule, ends generations of give way to the right . The updated information includes new diagrams, which do a better job of explaining what is changing and what is not.
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