Waingongoro River in the spotlight

A South Taranaki waterway whose story is ‘typical of the region’ has been highlighted on the Land Air Water Aotearoa (LAWA) website.

River of the month - Waingongoro.

The Waingongoro River was ‘river of the month’ for May at www.lawa.org.nz(external link), with a three-minute video discussing recent improvements in its water quality and biodiversity.

The video includes interviews with Daisy Noble of Ngāruahine, dairy farmer Bill Gribble, Iain Steven of ANZCO Eltham and Stephen Hall of the Taranaki Regional Council.

“In many ways, the Waingongoro’s story is typical of Taranaki,”says Mr Hall, who is the Council’s Director-Operations.

“It wasn’t too many decades ago that wastes from dairy farming, industry and town sewerage schemes were directly discharged into waterways like this. Those days are over, thankfully, and nowadays we’re seeing good improvement in long-term trends for ecological health and a wide range of physical and chemical measures.

“There’s been a lot of hard work and serious investment. It’s a great example of Taranaki’s ‘get on and do it’ attitude,” he says.

“The 162 dairy farmers in the Waingongoro catchment have fenced more than 90% of its streambanks and planted over 70%, working in partnership with the Council. And in Eltham, the catchment’s major town, the biggest industry, ANZCO, and the South Taranaki District Council have both spent big dollars to eliminate or reduce the impact of their wastewater.”

Mr Hall says the Taranaki Regional Council will continue to support the efforts of iwi, rural communities, farmers and industries to “There’s always more work we can do.”

LAWA is a partnership involving regional councils, the Ministry for the Environment, the Cawthron Institute, Massey University and the Tindall Foundation.

RECOUNT — Taranaki Regional Council's quarterly newsletter
Issue 101, June 2016