The FOM forestry group has been busy lobbying council on the future of its pine forests, and on the regulations for harvesting within the catchment. We are very supportive of Cr Rachel Sanson’s questioning of the value of Council’s forestry investment, and her call for the ‘profits’ to also take into account the externalised costs of wilding pines, loss of recreational access, and the impact of sedimentation on Nelson’s waterways. Other factors include allergy to pollen, fire risk, lost potential income from manuka honey and the climate change impact of methane from maturing pine trees. Read more here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment
Forestry Stewardship Council
This international organisation runs an accreditation system for products sourced from sustainably managed forests. We submitted to them with our concerns on how pine is harvested in Nelson and the lack of meaningful action from the forestry sector on measures that would ensure better protection for the river.
Like many things, delivery of our River Watch 27/7 water monitoring probe has been delayed by Covid-19, but we are expecting it soon.
Cawthron analysis of data collected to date by FOM shows a slight decline in water quality, based on the levels of nitrate and phosphate, temperature and clarity. This is a concern some 15 years out from the last large-scale harvesting in the Maitai, meaning the river should be at peak quality.
There were very few freshes through the river over winter and in early spring the algal mat was thick for the time of year, meaning it may be a bad year for cyanobacteria once temperatures go up and the flow slows.
Off we go!
We’re feeling very pleased with the new section of the Maitai riverside path between Collingwood Street and Bridge Street – and with our role in it. When this pathway change was proposed we asked for the width of the planned path to be reduced from 3.5m to 2.5m, and really appreciate Council taking this on board. The riverside path now provides a very pleasant walk or ride, starting from the attractive bridge over Saltwater Creek, past the imposing sculpture of The Prow, the landscaped section of the lower Maitai and the new pop-up park, all the way to the Suter.
Putting down roots
New Kiwis who are given a tree at their citizenship ceremony often don't have anywhere to plant it, with many of them living in rental accommodation. In a thoughtful initiative Council held onto the trees and invited the new citizens to a planting day. The trees were tenderly tucked into the earth near Nursery Hole, just down from Sharlands Creek. More trees will go in each year, with the aim that the new New Zealanders will visit their tree and help to tend it. Nice idea.
We recently renewed our call to the developers for more information on the Kaka Valley subdivision, and on the opportunity for public input and an assurance on the protection of the river. We understand full information on the subdivision will be made available when the developers seek a plan change from rural to residential; and we will be submitting based on protection of water quality.
Meantime Save the Maitai will be presenting their petition to Council on November 12. There is plenty of support for the Maitai retaining its rural ‘feel’ with 10,000 signatures expected before close off.
And speaking of submissions…
The Council currently has its Nelson Plan open for public consultation. Formerly called the Nelson Resource Management Plan, the Draft Whakamahere Whakatū Nelson Plan is open for feedback until December 6. The draft plan outlines how Nelson will grow and develop, and how Council will manage our environment in the future. Once again, our submission makers will be pounding their keyboards to speak up on behalf of the river. Read more and make your own submission here:
Our website can now accept donations for those who would like to make a monetary donation towards the work being done by the Friends of the Maitai. The donation application is located in the How To Help page found at http://friendsofthemaitai.org.nz/how-to-help/. The donations are administered by Give A Little who take no commission and supply receipts to donors.