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Our Environment: Issue 16 Spring 1998

Our Environment: Christchurch City Council's Environmental Newsletter

Conserving And Restoring Waterways And Wetlands: Two Helpful Resources

How can land along waterways and wetlands be protected for the future? How do you develop a stream restoration project, especially one where there are so many issues to resolve?

Two resources are now available from the Christchurch City Council to help local authorities, community groups and others interested in conserving and restoring waterways and wetlands. The Ministry for the Environment's Sustainable Management Fund helped fund both resources.

Conservation Covenants

Conservation Covenants is a working guide to assist local authorities and others to conserve waterways, wetlands and other natural areas on private land. The small booklet provides a summary of methods to legally protect land. It also describes some key differences between methods, including conservation covenants, reserves, esplanade strips and esplanade reserves. There is a full outline of the process for establishing conservation covenants, and two examples demonstrate how the Christchurch City Council developed covenants. One example is a conservation covenant with a school within the city, and the other is with a deer farmer on the outskirts of the city.

The booklet provides a blueprint of a standard conservation covenant which is also available on the Council's World Wide Web ( ) and lists useful resources should further information be required.

Restoring Avoca Valley Stream: a community model

This model comprises a report, guidelines, video and a streamside planting brochure. It is available as a package of information to help local authorities and any group or individual to develop a stream restoration project.

The aim of the project is to develop a community-based model for the restoration and sustainable management of waterway ecosystems which could be used anywhere in New Zealand. The video was filmed over a two-year period (1996-98) showing a Stream Care Group and tangata whenua working together, describing their issues and vision for restoration, and providing some of the results and direction of where the project was heading in 1998.

As well as landscape design concepts, the report provides guidelines to help with other stream restoration projects. These detail how to create habitat for birds, fish and insects, as well as information on hydrology and soils. There are broad guidelines derived from working with tangata whenua. There is also a review of how the process developed with the Stream Care Group.

For more information on these resources contact:

The Waterways and Wetlands Team,
Water Services Unit,
Christchurch City Council,
phone 371-1660


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