Lower Waikato River Enhancement
The lower Waikato River is a national and regional icon holding significant cultural, economic, social and environmental values.
Through resource consents commitments, relationships with local stakeholders and involvement in Waikato Rivercare Genesis Energy contribute to activities that aim to enhance these values.
Over 10 projects have been completed or are underway as a result of relationships with local stakeholders and resource consent obligations. The purpose of the enhancement projects include:
- Improving aesthetics;
- Enhancing native terrestrial biodiversity;
- Restoring aquatic ecology including white bait and Tuna (eel); and
- Improving water quality.
The earliest projects commenced in 1995 as an obligation under Huntly Power Stations superseded resource consents. The photos above illustrate the changes at one of the enhancement sites on the Hakarimata Range. As a commitment under Genesis Energy's current resource consents three projects were commenced in 2014 including additional improvements at the Tuna (Eel) Enhancement site, fencing and restoration of the north-western channel of Taipouri Island and Waikato River bank restoration at Hopuhopu.
The Waikato River Enhancement Society (trading as Waikato RiverCare) was initiated in 1999 and is supported by a range of community stakeholders with a common vision and purpose.
The purpose is to implement a sustainable programme of action to clear, plant native vegetation on the banks of the lower Waikato River and maintain the area. Genesis Energy is one of the group's founding members. Other members include local councils, businesses, iwi and community groups.
To date, over sixteen enhancement sites have been established at Meremere, Horahora, Ngaruawahia, Huntly, Rangiriri, Churchill East, Te Kokiri, Hopuhopu and Huntly Golf Course, with a number of these sites having multiple projects operating simultaneously.
For further information on Waikato RiverCare go to www.waikatorivercare.co.nz