The Inanga Action Group
Koraunui Primary School sits half way up the Stokes Valley catchment in Lower Hutt. Through the Whitebait Connection Program students have been investigating the health of their local streams.
Students check the water temperature and conductivity during their stream exploration day.
Now they want to take action! The kids have decided the big areas they need to focus on are removing migration barriers for our native fish species such as threatened galaxiids and eels so they can swim to the healthy upper catchment; and improving the habitat in the lower catchment sections of the stream for the native fish, birds and insects.
They have been busy already, teaming up with Hutt City Council and Friends of Horoeka Reserve to put 150 native plants in the ground and remove 2 big garbage sacks full of rubbish at their first planting day.
Picture Left: Planting at the Horoeka Reserve.
Picture Right: The base of the new nursery made out of recycled materials.
With more planting days to come next Winter, students have designed and started construction on a native plant nursery made out of rammed earth, recycled tyres and plastic bottles. The plants the students raise will go to the restoration of the Stokes Valley Stream and other Whitebait spawning habitats around the Hutt Valley.
This Summer they are teaming up with Greater Wellington Regional Council, and local scientists to find all the fish barriers within their catchment and install fish passage aids like mussel spat rope, concrete baffles and fish ladders. They are also designing “kokopu condos” and “tuna tunnels” – special fish refuges which will be installed in the banks of the river to provide places for nocturnal fish to hide.
Last but not least, the kids really want the community to get involved in future stream clean ups, planting and care so they are keen to reach out increase community awareness the native fish living within local streams and share their conservation messages.
Watch this space for amazing mahi to come from these rangatahi!
Koraunui Kaitiaki are supported by Mountains to Sea Wellington, the IPENZ River Fund, Curious Minds, and the Department of Conservation.
Picture: The last stretch of the stokes valley stream, at wagon road, before it enters the Hutt River.
Pictures: Fish barriers to take care of: the weir on Tawhai Street half way up the catchment.