FOM News flash Autumn  2022
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As we adjust to cooler nights and darker mornings it’s once again time to reflect in gratitude on the role of the Maitai over the summer months. Year round we value the river and its peaceful valley as a recreational resource, but come the summer it we love it for swims, picnics, cricket and long sunny afternoons beside a favourite pool. Friends of the Maitai is dedicated to keeping the Maitai River running clear and clean – as a haven not only for people but also for biodiversity.
Yet more housing in the Maitai Valley!
The main purpose of this newsletter is to alert you to the Nelson City Council consultation on its Future Development Strategy 2022 (FDS); which identifies 1100 potential housing sites in the Maitai. As you’ll know the Kaka Valley (behind Denne’s Hole) is subject of a plan change request for a 750 houses. Under the new FDS this would be upped to 900 houses, plus another 200 across the river (on the Sunday Hole side) for an area named Orchard Flats.
Screenshot from the new draft 2022 FDS showing Kaka Valley and Orchard Flats areas in the Maitai Valley:
If you believe the future housing needs of Nelson would be better served by intensification and building within the existing urban footprint, just tell the council this in simple words. (Of course if you think housing would be great in the Maitai feel free to tell them that too!) It’s also good to state what you value about the Maitai as it is now, with the easy accessibility it gives city dwellers to a natural environment. Housing or not it’s vital the river is protected. Let council know what you think by making a submission at or by emailing to

Explore the Maitai

The children are our future and if we want them to value nature we need to take time to teach them about it. In late January FOM members turned out for an ‘Explore the Maitai’ sessions with children enrolled on the Aroha Discovery Holiday Programme.  
Alison Horn reports:  Denis, Phillipa, Steven and I had a delightful couple of hours with a group of 15 children aged between 5 to 10. We met at the Domett St bridge at the confluence of the Brook and the Maitai river to look for invertebrates, take part in basic water monitoring, play the fish game called Against the Flow and make frottage art depicting mature Inanga, tuna and Kura. 
At the end of the afternoon, the children launched the small rafts/boats they had made from found materials during a morning session at Fairfield House. The children then thanked us for being with them and were each given a copy of Against the Flow to take home. While Ali K was not able to join us on the day, her earlier contribution to the event was appreciated.
Bring out your photos!
Over summer we held a library display of FOM activities at Groom Creek. It looked great and was well received, although we think if we do this again we will try to have members in attendance some of the time.  And we could do with updating our photo collection for this type of display so if you are a bit of a snapper please send your pics to  Make them about 500kb to 2mb in size is ideal – not too big and not too small.
And don’t forget to take a trip to Groom Creek to check out the growth in trees and the newly installed ‘Weta Motels’. Helpers always welcome for the plant care sessions that run on alternate Fridays from 1-3pm.
Kaka Valley RMA hearing
Late last year we put in the FOM submission to the RMA hearing on the Private Plan Change that would allow 750 houses in the Kaka Valley. We put a real effort into striking a balance between meeting housing needs and preserving not just water quality, but the ambience of the valley. It was also a balancing act for the submission writers who shared a range of personal views but managed to agree on key points for the FOM submission. We were very pleased to have expertise from the Freshwater Team at Cawthron to support us on this.
The RMA hearing will be held before commissioners from 13 – 22 July. In the meantime there is plenty of work to be done as the expert witnesses from each side look for common ground – as well as holes in each other’s arguments.

RMA hearing will be held before commissioners from
13 – 22 July.
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
Copyright © *|2022* *|Friends of the Maitai|*, All rights reserved.
 *| Autumn 2022 News Flash|*

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

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