FOM Spring 2022 News flash 
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In this issue: 
Flood recovery
Good news on Koaro
Christmas Party
Big year for the Maitai
We head into summer looking back on a major year for the Maitai River. We are still in recovery mode from the August floods, earlier in the year improvements were made to the river track linking to the new Bike Hub at the Waahi Taakaro Golf Course, the RMA commissioners approved the plan change to allow housing in the Kaka Valley, and the work of Project Mahitahi carried on with massive numbers of trees planted and pests caught. 
Post Flood Update
Council is putting together a three year programme for flood recovery, and you may have seen the early stages of this with the recent clearing of gravel from Black Hole and Waahi Taakaaro, as well as with the huge ‘tree graveyard’ of stumps and branches on the paddock near Nursery Hole. Project Mahitahi – Project Manager Susan Moore-Lavo reports most of the debris was willow, with pine accounting for only 10-20%.  Local company Azwood is chipping these stumps and will turn them into wood pellets for pellet fuel.
The river banks will be planted up next year and Council staff will be keeping on top of the willow saplings that were carried downstream. Other trees that were badly undercut or fallen into the river have also been removed. The river banks will be planted up next year and Council will be keeping on top of the willow saplings that have been transported downstream. Our own planting area at Groom Creek came through the flood surprisingly well. 

Diggers are clearing the huge amount of gravel from Black hole
Native Fish  
Otago University researchers looking at early life stages of koaro for migratory and lake-locked populations were in Nelson recently, and found the endangered native fish above the Maitai reservoir, Neds Creek and at the Brook Motor Camp. An MSc student compared the otolith (ear bone) chemistry with indications that some koaro larvae from above the dam remain in the reservoir and/or the North Branch, Indicating this area is now hosting a non-migratory population. More work will be done to confirm this. 
Project Mahitahi
The DOC Jobs for Nature funding for this project has now finished, but a reduced team will carry on with planting, as well staying on top of weeding and maintenance. The Peneamine picnic area (Sharlands) will be the focus of next year’s planting. Project Mahitahi caught nearly 3000 possums in 18 months and planted 70,000 trees this year. 
FOM members helped out at the planting day for new citizens, alongside the road near Nursery Hole
Changes to the river bed  
The build-up of gravel has changed the profile of the river bed, which means that water level is higher than pre-flood, however, the actual amount of flow or discharge is similar. With the river now having a wider, flatter profile in some places, the warm weather and hot summer ahead will create conditions for algae and cyanobacteria to proliferate. There was more gravel than would occur after a flood in a ‘natural system’, and FOM’s view is that recent pine harvesting would not have helped. 

Capturing flood stories 
Do you remember the big flood of 2022? When the kids of the future ask that question the Library and Museum want to have some stories to tell. Keep an eye out for more detail, but currently plans are to set up a space early in the new year at the library with maps and an oral historian. 
Kaka Valley plan change
The RMA commissioners recommended the Plan Change to allow housing in the Kaka Valley should go through, and Council voted to accept this. Save The Maitai has lodged an appeal to the Environment Court, with a focus is on earthworks, stormwater and flooding. FOM is not taking further action at this stage. 

Christmas Party
Please join us at Groom Creek on December 16 to celebrate another year of mahi to support our river. Plant care from 1pm, with a simple celebration from 2pm. Please bring a chair, a drink and a plant of finger food to share. See you there! (11Harper St if wet.)
Friends of the Maitai’s ongoing costs are low, but we always welcome donations and would love to hear from any supporters who feel they could make a regular contribution.
One coffee a week costs $16 a month - just to put it in a day-to-day context.
Our kiwi bank account is: 38-9016-0313862-00
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 *|Spring 2022 News Flash|*

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Friends of the Maitai · Maitai Valley · Nelson, Nelson 7010 · New Zealand

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