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Published: 2008-01-18 00:00:00

Further work on the Tongariro River between Turangi and Lake Taupo is to start at the end of this month in a partnership approach between Environment Waikato and Ngati Turangitukua, manawhenua of the area where the works are to take place.

Environment Waikato holds resource consents to remove gravel islands from the river opposite and downstream of the Tongariro Lodge area to help improve the river flow, reduce the risk of flooding and improve the general river environment. Two years ago, a quantity of gravel was removed and many positive comments were received as to the local benefits and the smooth way the work was undertaken.

In this next stage of the work Ngati Turangitukua are taking the lead role and have engaged Tongariro Resources Contractors who will start the works within the next two weeks.

Associated with the gravel removal, Ngati Turangitukua are planning to undertake a river restoration programme over the lower reaches of the river between Delators Pool and the lake by removing debris islands, clearing willows and building up low banks to help reduce flooding. This work is being supported by Environment Waikato, the Department of Conservation and community interests.

Phase one of the lower Tongariro restoration work is due to get underway on 28 January and has been contracted to Inframax Ltd. The work will be carried out according to the conditions in place under the consent held by Environment Waikato.

The council’s river and catchment group technical services manager Ghassan Basheer said Environment Waikato was very pleased to be supporting Ngati Turangitukua in the work the hapu are doing.

“We wish to continue to assist the hapu wherever we can in meeting their objectives for the lower reaches of the river” said Mr Basheer.

“The work that’s being done will help the river flow more freely and contribute to the overall health of the river system, and the surrounding environment.”