In May The Forest Bridge Trust held our annual landowner workshops. These are one of the most important days on our calendar. It is our chance to bring together interested landowners from the Hoteo catchment to share what we have been doing for the past year, hear from speakers about interesting research and information, but most important of all we get farmer input on potential projects for the next year.
This year we held two meetings. One in the upper Hoteo catchment at the Wellsford Community Centre and one in the lower Hoteo catchment at the Kaipara Flats Sports Club.
The meetings were a great opportunity to meet new people, catch up with old friends and network.
It was also a chance to hear about what the Trust has been up to over the past year. The agenda included presentations from Kevin Adshead (fencing projects), Thomas Stazyk (fencing agreements) and Liz Maire (CatchIT).
Various experts also gave very interesting and thought provoking presentations on topics relevant to the Hoteo area.
Shelley Hackett (Senior Community Waterways Specialist, Auckland Council) gave a presentation on the role of citizen science as a monitoring tool for waterways.
Dylan Clarke (Senior Healthy Waterways Specialist, Auckland Council) gave a brief outline of the Auckland Council funding available for Hoteo landowners.
Scott Speed (Principal Specialist Green Infrastructure Planning, Auckland Council) gave a presentation about channel and bank stability of the Hoteo River system, specifically on loadings to the Kaipara Harbour. This presentation was based on the recent work of Andrew Simmon from Cardno Entrix.
The presentation provided a lot of scientific data about erosion on the Hoteo River, including erosion hot spots. He also gave information about various ways to deal with the erosion.
Andrew Hughes (Land and Water Scientist, NIWA) then gave a presentation on some of the research projects he is involved in that relate to the Hoteo. This included research that uses sediment fingerprinting. This study will be able to distinguish what type of land use has generated the sediment eg pine forest, native forest, grazing pasture.
We also heard from local iwi representatives. Fiona McKenzie from Ngati Manuhiri spoke at the northern Hoteo meeting about the upcoming Nga Roto lakes project involving lakes Slipper, Spectacle and Tomarata. Margaret Kawharu from Ngati Whatua o Kaipara spoke at the lower Hoteo meeting about their Treat of Waitangi settlement process.
The remainder of the day was spent looking at maps and identifying potential projects for The Forest Bridge Trust.
It was also an opportunity to learn about the extensive fencing that has already happened on private land – funded by landowners, funding agencies or undertaken in partnership with The Forest Bridge Trust.
We would like to thank our caterers Shirley Blakemore and the Kaipara Flats PTA. Also a big thanks to all those who took time during a busy time of the year to come along and share their very valuable and interesting insights. We look forward to working with you over the coming years as we make the forest bridge from the Kaipara to the Pacific a reality.