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Restoration projects show off biodiversity initiatives 

The Whakaroa Te Waikēkēwai project hosted a successful information day for the Ellesmere community to showcase and connect five inspirational restoration projects which all share the vision of improving the environment in the Ellesmere area. 
The drop-in day offered Ellesmere landowners the opportunity to find out what a variety of project teams had to offer and share their own feedback. 

Jo Fearn from Project Tinaku explains what the team have been up to in recent months.

The community event was supported by Ellesmere Sustainable Agriculture Inc (ESAI), as the  Tinaku Project team was one of the participating groups to showcase dozens of regeneration projects it has been working on and upcoming initiatives it has in the pipeline. 
The video below shows Project coordinator Jo Fearn and Project Tinaku Restoration coordinator Johanna Blakely proving an update on Project Tinaku initiatives.
Tinaku Project Lead David Hewson said the day was a great initiative to enable locals to hear about the five different projects at one place and work out which initiatives interest them or are most appropriate.   
The event also enabled the project teams to get to know each other and work out how they can best work together, said Hewson.   
The information day in Leeston was also the official launch of the joint Whakaora Te Waikēkēwai project initiative between Te Taumatu Rūnanga and Environment Canterbury (ECan). 
This five-year, $4.16 million project is funded by ECan and the Ministry for the Environment’s Freshwater Improvement Fund, and has recently started working with a dozen landowners to complete riparian planting along 8km of streams leading into Te Waikēkēwai, improving biodiversity and restoring mahinga kai and water quality in the catchment area aboveNgātiMoki marae at Taumutu.
Please watch this video of Project Manager Raewyn Solomon launching the project in the community.


Representatives of Pest Free Banks Peninsula also shared their work to make a portion of Banks Peninsula and Kaitorete Spit pest free by 2050, by creating a buffer zone on the south-west side, closing the pathway into Banks Peninsula for possums and other pests.

You can see the presentation below.

Just along the coast, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and Te Taumutu Rūnanga are implementing the Muriwai o Whata/Coopers Lagoon Management Plan, which will include extensive riparian planting around Muriwai/Coopers Lagoon to reduce inflow of contaminants and increase biodiversity and mahinga kai in the area. The initial work involves a Bioblitz to identify existing biodiversity and some willow control.
The full presentation is available below.
Finally, the Department of Conservation joined the drop-in session to share the work of the Weed Strikeforce who have been very active in the Ellesmere area, clearing grey willows from lake margins that results in natural generation with native plants growing quickly to fill the space and at certain sites replacing willow with appropriate wetland species and other native forest plantings. 

Gary Boyd from the Department of Conservation shares his presentation about the DOC Weed Strikeforce with the Ellesmere community.

You can watch Gary’s presentation here.


Hewson said that the day was focused on sharing and explaining information with the community, with the additional benefit of the different project teams meeting face-to-face. 
“We all work on similar or related projects in the same region, so it is vital that our projects are coordinated for the best outcomes. 
We all have different expertise, skills and experience so we want to help and learn from each other,” says Hewson. 
Residents who were unable to attend the presentations will be able to watch them in their own time on the ESAI website  
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