Environment Bay of Plenty, Environment Waikato and the Department of Conservation have released a state of the environment report on the health of the Kaimai and Mamaku Ranges and Waihou and Tauranga Harbour catchments.
Funded by the three agencies, the report is the first action to arise out of the recently initiated Kaimai Catchments Project.
Department of Conservation Tauranga Area Manager Andrew Baucke said the group is pleased to have the document as a foundation for the future work of the partner agencies in the catchments.
“The project area encompasses the Kaimai Range and part of the Mamaku Plateau,” Mr Baucke said. “The distinctive landforms of the Kaimai Range are very prominent from the Waikato and the Bay of Plenty and are highly valued by the people of both regions.”
Environment Bay of Plenty Group Manager Land Management Warwick Murray said that this report fulfilled the project’s first objective and provided the partner agencies with an assessment of the relative health of the catchments.
“It was important to gather together the existing information on the catchments so that we could have informed dialogue with and between stakeholder groups,” Mr Murray said.
Environment Waikato Biosecurity and Natural Heritage Manager John Simmons recognised the collaborative efforts that had gone into the preparation of the report.
“The work that has gone into this report is just enormous,” Mr Simmons said. “The report involves the work of those not just in the partner agencies, but also from district councils, tangata whenua, landowners, community groups, consultants, and societies such as Forest and Bird.”
The three agencies assisted the NZ Landcare Trust to secure funding for the project from the Ministry for the Environment. Project coordinator Kate Akers said the funding would be used across the next three years to further achieve the objectives of the project.
“I’m really pleased to have this report completed to help inform my work,” Ms Akers said.
The next step is to share the report findings with community and stakeholders. Ms Akers will then coordinate the establishment of forums to discuss and develop community, landowner and stakeholder priorities for the catchments.
A hard copy or CD version of the report can be ordered and an electronic version can be downloaded from www.envbop.govt.nz
Further information and updates about the project will be available at http://www.landcare.org.nz/regional-focus/central-north-island/kaimai-catchments/