NZSki: wetland not destroyed by work

Paul Anderson.
Paul Anderson.

NZSKI has fired back at claims work at the Remarkables has destroyed a protected wetland.

Forest and Bird is contemplating legal action over the granting of a land use consent to NZSki by the Otago Regional Council in March.

The project required earthworks in an area including a 100sqm of wetland, protected in the regional council's water plan, to extend a learners ski slope.

A regional council Resource Science Unit report said the work would destroy the wetland.

NZSki chief executive Paul Anderson said this was not true and was just ''one opinion'' of the impact the work would have.

During such work the company removed vegetation from the wetlands before the work and returned it afterwards, he said.

''We've got some very strict protocols in place about how we manage the vegetation on the Remarkables where we are doing work to make sure we preserve the biodiversity that's present and put it somewhere safe.

''In this case we're looking to increase the size of that wetland, which will encourage that vegetation to propagate further downstream.''

While the work would ''modify'' the wetland, it would not be destroyed, he said.

''Although it has been touched, the value of the wetland is actually in the biodiversity it hosts. That's what is important to us to preserve.''

The water might flow in a ''slightly different way'' afterwards, he said.

''NZSki has established a strong record of enhancing the biodiversity in our Ski Area Subzone through initiatives such as revegetation of native species, weed eradication including wilding pines, and pest control.''

The wetland in question represented 0.08% of the total wetlands in the subzone, he said.

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