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Fencing to help Karamu water quality

Fencing a section of the Paritua Stream that runs through farmland at Bridge Pa is another step to help improve water quality in the Karamū Catchment.

The improvement of water quality in the Karamū is one of the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s ‘hot spot’ funded projects.

The Paritua-Kārewarewa Subcatchment covers the largest area (12,005ha) of the 11 subcatchments which contribute to the Karamū.  It covers over 20% of the Karamū catchment (51,462ha) which drains the Heretaunga Plains and surrounding ranges including stormwater from urban centres.

The stream flows across the middle of a large paddock owned by Malcolm Campbell who grazes stock there.  It is part of the unconfined aquifer (as surface water flows from and back into the aquifer in various sections) and is augmented by water from the Ngaruroro River near Roy’s Hill. 

To keep the stock away from the water, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is working with Mr Campbell to install two-wire electrified fences about 3- 5 metres from each side of the stream. 

“Fencing both sides of a stream is an effective way to keep the cattle out of the water, which has been a contentious issue for residents using the stream further down, and is an example of good land management,” says Antony Rewcastle, HBRC Senior Open Spaces Development Officer.

“Fencing off streams is being recognised across the country as an important step for landowners to improve water quality, and Hawke’s Bay landowners may be required to this under future plan changes.”

Over the last few years, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and Mangaroa Marae have enhanced part of the stream, including the planting of around 10,000 native trees, on public land adjacent to the Marae downstream of Raukawa Road Bridge to improve the water and stream surrounds.  This part of the stream includes a swimming hole that is popular with the local children, so fencing the upstream section through the paddock will help improve water quality for Bridge Pa residents and Marae.

The paddock is a flood zone, so planting and management has had to be carefully considered.  Weeping willow poles will be planted at 30 metre intervals within the riparian zone to provide shade for the water, improve habitat and reduce weed growth; native plants may be added later. 

Malcolm Campbell has redecked the bridge across the stream, one that he originally built as a young man.  This will give cattle access to both sides of the paddock, and to the stock water trough on the south side of the stream.

Paritua Stream fencing at Bridge Pa

1 March 2018

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