Opureora Wetland Restoration

The Opureora Wetland is a highly modified palustrine wetland system that is approximately 1 ha in size. Intensive grazing had reduced the native plant species to Carex species with emergent Baumea articulate. The degradation of these native plants has had major effects on the small juvenile eels that use this wetland system as a source of refuge. This in turn has had an effect on the bird life that rely on these areas for food especially the Matuku (Australasian bittern) which is seen on numerous occasions when water levels are high.

This area is of particular importance to tangata whenua both culturally and environmentally. It is the only known site on Matakana Island that supports such large numbers of juvenile eels which migrate into the wetland through the Waipuna (spring that is connected to the inner harbour via alluvial vents). Without this area many of the old people say the numbers of eels found on Matakana Island would become scarce and disrupt the balance of wetland biodiversity.

At present the Opureora Trust and the Matakana Island Environment Group has worked with Nga Whenua Rahui, Nga Whenua Rahui is a Maori organisation whose role is to offer Maori landowners a way of conserving their lands while still retaining ownership and control of their whenua. They give advice and offer funding options for the conservation and restoration of privately owned Maori land. Environment Bay of Plenty, Environment Bay of Plenty - Our work guides and supports the sustainable development of the Bay of Plenty. and Western Bay of Plenty District Council Western Bay of Plenty District Council - Whether you need advice on the building process, property and land information or an update... to plan and implement the restoration program. This involves pest plant eradication, planting native plant species on the margins and fencing off the area from stock in the hope to increase the numbers of the eel population to a more sustainable level. The main part of this project has been completed and there is an on-going weed control program for the next 2 years.

  • Opureora Wetland before - 1

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    Opureora Wetland before restoration

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    Opureora Wetland before restoration

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    Opureora Wetland before restoration

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    Opureora Wetland before restoration

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    Opureora Wetland before restoration

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    Opureora Wetland before restoration

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  • Restoration works - 1

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    Restoration works underway

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    Restoration works underway

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    Restoration works underway

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    Restoration works underway

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  • Restoration work one years on - 1

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    One year later – starting to look good!! – May 2010

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    One year later – starting to look good!! – May 2010

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    One year later – starting to look good!! – May 2010

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    One year later – starting to look good!! – May 2010

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    One year later – starting to look good!! – May 2010

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    One year later – starting to look good!! – May 2010

    opureora Planting three years on - 2