$1.5m boost to help bring Christchurch stream back to life

The council has received $1.5 million to help fund restoration work at Cashmere Stream. Photo:...
The council has received $1.5 million to help fund restoration work at Cashmere Stream. Photo: Newsline / CCC
A Christchurch stream which was once teeming with freshwater fish and was an important food gathering area for Māori has received a funding boost.

The Government has given Christchurch City Council a grant of almost $1.5 million through its freshwater improvement fund to help restore Cashmere Stream.

Council city services general manager David Adamson said the stream is part of a historically significant wetland traditionally used by Māori as a food gathering area.

It is home to a number of threatened species, such as kōura (freshwater crayfish), kākahi (freshwater mussels), tuna, inanga, pied stilts, oyster catchers and southern grass skink.

Over the past few years, about 2500 native trees have been planted along the headwaters of the stream by the Cashmere Stream Care Group to help improve the health of the waterway.

Now the council has been given funding for a three-year project that will see it work with community groups to restore the cultural and ecological health of a 1.8km stretch of the waterway from Sutherlands Rd to Dunbars Stream.

Adamson  said sediment will be removed from the stream and the banks re-sculpted and planted with native species to improve the ecology of the waterway. A 30m wide corridor of planting will be created to shade and protect the stream, enhancing the habitat for the freshwater fish.

The work is part of a $50 million investment by the council into stormwater treatment, wetland creation and floodplain management infrastructure around Cashmere Stream.

“The work we are intending to do will enhance the biodiversity values of the area and also contribute to the council’s carbon neutral target, so we are delighted the Government has decided to use its freshwater improvement fund to help finance this work," said Adamson.

The fund is part of the Government’s $1.245 billion Jobs for Nature package, which aims to create significant environmental benefits and employ people to help accelerate the recovery from the impacts of Covid-19.

It is estimated the work on the stream will create the equivalent of 21 full-time jobs over the life of the project.

Environment Minister David Parker also announced $4.15 million from the fund will go to the Styx Living Laboratory Trust to support its efforts to improve the ecology of the Styx catchment.

About $2.16 million from the fund will also go to Te Taumutu Rūnanga and the co-governors of Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere to restore a whole catchment along Te Waikēkēwai/Waikēkēwai Stream, on the south-western edge of the lake. The five-year project will improve water quality, māhinga kai and biodiversity.

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