23 November, 2012
Minister welcomes opening of Ohaaki Wetlands
The Ohaaki Wetland is evidence of the success that can be achieved when groups work together towards a conservation goal, Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson says.
Established on 35 hectares of land beside the Waikato River, the Ohaaki Wetland was formally opened by Ms Wilkinson today.
“The wetlands will provide a unique marshland that will enhance biodiversity in the region by providing an ideal habitat for bird life, including rare or endangered species such as the White heron,” Ms Wilkinson says.
The Wildflowers Association of New Zealand and Fish and Game negotiated with Contact Energy which gifted 35 hectares of land on the eastern bank of the Waikato River to ensure the wetlands could be developed.
Two trusts, the Wairakei Environmental Mitigation Charitable Trust and the Waikato Catchment Ecological Enhancement Trust– then provided considerable funding to make it all happen.
“Protecting our conservation is everyone’s responsibility, not just the role of the Department of Conservation. Communities, organisations, iwi, and businesses all have a part to play in helping protect our natural environment for future generations,” Ms Wilkinson says.
“Wetlands are under threat throughout New Zealand as our urban centres continue to encroach on wilderness areas. This sort of project is crucial to slowing that process and safeguarding marshlands.”
Additional funding to the Waikato Catchment Ecological Enhancement Trust has seen a further 20 wetlands projects launched in the region.