Cannons Creek Waterway Restoration

Jak Ruatapu, Marley Fuelton, and Mayala Parau (above) from Brandon Intermediate have spent the year working on a freshwater restoration in the Eastern Porirua suburbs of Cannons Creek. Sparked by working with Mountains To Sea Wellington’s Program Director, Zoe Studd, in the Whitebait Connection program, the three were keen to investigate the state of their local Cannons Creek lakes, and nearby Kenepuru Stream.

“We wanted to clean the lakes and streams because we wanted to swim in it, but when we investigated it, we saw that it was dirty and unsafe for us to swim in.” says Marley. With support from teachers and Partners Porirua, the students engaged with Porirua City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council to investigate freshwater species and the challenges they face. Together, they installed spat ropes to support īnanga migration, and erected signs to build community awareness of their project.

Jak Ruatapu and Marley Fuelton presenting their Kaitiaki Project to the Porirua Community.

Mayala shares the aspirations of the group. “We really wanted to help the native fish, and give them life instead of [being impacted by our] pollution. There needs to be more rubbish bins put up around the lakes, and we want more trees planted down the stream to keep the water cool for the fish.”

With the support of Rachel Scott from Partners Porirua, the three also delivered an oral submission to Porirua City Council regarding the proposed Annual Plan. Their submission was so compelling, that aspects of their submission were included in the draft Annual Plan, and feedback from Council members was resoundingly supportive of their ambitions to see the Cannons Creek lakes and Kenepuru Stream restored. ”It’s our lake and stream, it’s not clean right now, and we wanted to do something about it.” says Marley.

As a result of their hard work on their project, the three won a trip to Kāpiti Island for being one of the standout projects submitted to the Kaitiaki ki a Kāpiti competition run by Mountains To Sea Wellington. The three were hugely grateful to all the people and organisations for supporting their aspirations. But their work doesn’t finish there – have ambitious long-term plans for the Canns Creek Lakes and Kenepuru Stream.

Jak Ruatapu and Marley Fuelton with Porirua Mayor, Mike Tana, during the public presentations of their Kaitiaki Project. Missing, Mayala Parau.

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