Within the Estate are 32 protected wetlands. In 2018 to 2019, three of these were expanded and 12 new wetlands were created and planted, including the Tahorakuri Wetland. The Tahorakuri Wetland is a 4.7 ha area located at the head of the Waiwhakarewaumu Stream, which joins the Waikato River. This is a two-year restoration project which will see around 200m of stream (both sides) restored and involves extending the wetland area by building approximately 700 metres of walkway to join different areas.
This project demonstrates Wairakei’s commitment to leading sustainable land use. The initiative was established to address an increase in the wetland footprint, with monitoring showing that the groundwater was at a five year high, and the expanding wetland was evidenced by new areas of ponding and boggy zones, which are typical of swamps in the Waikato Region.
The decision was made to permanently change the use of an area of pastoral farming land to create the Wetland. The project included creating an ecosystem of ponds and a thriving wetland plant, animal and insect community. The development reduces the potential for erosion, protects the headwaters of the stream, and has seen an increase in native birdlife.
Wairakei Estate, in collaboration with local organisations, businesses and schools, planted approximately 5,500 suitable plants in the damp and boggy areas of the wetland with an additional 1,000 exotic trees planted on the higher and drier parts of the retired Tahorakuri Wetland.
The new Wairua Wetland will see approximately 6ha restored upon completion. Our vision is to enhance existing linkages from the Waikato River and this tributary, allowing fish, insects and animals to migrate its full length.
As a successful applicant for the Small Scale Community Initiatives Fund (SSCIF), Wairakei Estate would like to thank the Waikato Regional Council’s for the grant. The funds will be used towards the control of possums, rabbits, rats and stoats, at the Wairua O Tahorakuri Wetland and Pueto Riparian Restoration. Goodnature traps were purchased and these have already been placed at both the Wairua O Tahorakuri Wetland and Pueto Riparian.