Monitoring the Oroua-Manawatū confluence river water quality

Taiao Raukawa Trust will undertake research related to water quality and/or water quantity monitoring at the Oroua River confluence to the Manawatū, which is a cultural and historical site of importance to them.

A 'Marae Investigates' programme screened Sunday 3 April, 2011 titled "River of disgrace" covers some of the issues of concern to tangata whenua of the Manawatū awa (after a short advert and introduction).

Over the last 20 -30 years, but in particular since the flood protection work following the 2004 floods, the Oroua River has become one of the most compromised rivers in the Manawatū catchment. What was once a narrow, fast flowing, deep water suitable for fishing and swimming is now a shallow, slow flowing, often murky and smelly river with excessive sediment build up and algae growth below the Affco Manawatū and Feilding township discharges. Former bush has been converted into wide open recreational spaces. Fishing and swimming below the Colyton Bridge are now virtually impossible. Ngati Kauwhata, after being approached by Ngati Raukawa through Te Taiao Raukawa Environmental Trust has decided to work on restoring the mauri of the river.

The Integrated Freshwater Solutions project (IFS) has presented Ngati Kauwhata Iwi with an opportunity to conduct some localised research into water quality. As a first step along the journey it was decided to establish water quality monitoring on the river using macroinvertebrate sampling. The samplers will also familiarize themselves with visual/sensory site assessments based on measurements used in the Cultural Health Index (CHI).

Objective – what will be different when it is done?

By 2013 the project will have delivered:

  • A reliable monitoring regime on the Oroua River which will provide ongoing information about the state of the river
  • An increasing number of hapū members being interested in restoring the mauri and contribute to the monitoring programme
  • At least five additional hapū members will have been trained in conducting the monitoring
  • The measurement data will provide the baseline for a targeted action plan for ongoing improvements to the mauri of the Oroua River

More information will be added as the project proceeds....

The Oroua River Project
Project Update 2012

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