Ngati kauwhata project update June 2012

Ōroua River project update

The Ōroua monitoring project is making good progress. The first set of winter samples was successfully taken by Michael Cribb under tuition from Fiona Death at four sites: Awahuri Bridge, Colyton, Kimbolton, and Almadale Reserve. The planned fifth sample site at the confluence of Ōroua and Manawatū proved to be unworkable for safety reasons. The bottom of the river is very soft and treacherous due to high sediment volumes. 

The three sites upstream from Feilding resulted in MCI scores between 130 and 140, which put the sites into the ‘excellent’ band. The sample at Awahuri Bridge came with a score of 115 which is still in the ‘good’ band. 

A further three hapū members were trained in time for the summer sample take. However, weather patterns and the Ōroua proved to be fickle. On two occasions attempts were made for sampling. On both occasions the river looked promising, however, a series of small flash floods led to fast flows and rendered samples useless. We believe that other monitoring teams from Horizons and Massey University experienced difficulties with monitoring over summer too. 

A key learning at this point in time is that a good sampling regime requires a constant watch of river conditions, flexible access to the team at short notice, and quick response from support functions such as health & safety administration. 

The visual display for the Marae is work in progress. An initial map and photos have been produced to start conversations during the next hui-a-iwi.

Research Project Update

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