Mangrove clearance back on track



After a frustrating twoyear delay, work has resumed on tackling the mangrove invasion which is threatening to take over the Waiuku estuary.

The Mudlarks are a dedicated team of mainly older men who have been successful in obtaining a new resource consent to clear approximately 75ha of the Manukau Harbour over the next 35 years.
Mudlarks chairman Ian Scobie says they have been given the green light by council worker Mark Read and he is happy to be working back on the site, supported by a number of keen local guys.
Work started on the west side of the Waiuku estuary on June 8 and after a week of cutting and stacking, the rows of bundles were ready to be stacked on the barge which was designed by Ian Scobie and purpose built with materials donated by the late Terry Ryan.
The second week saw loads of 20 bundles at a time being ferried to the wharf where it will be chipped and turned into garden fertilizer.
The Mudlarks had stopped work after they were told they had to leave a 10m buffer zone of mangroves around clearing areas and they did not have consent to proceed with new areas.
“Under the new consent we will be able to clear a huge amount of shoreline all the way to the Needles, apart from three small areas. The 10 metre buffer zone mostly does not apply.
Complete removal of the mangroves means that regrowth will be seriously reduced, but the area is so big it is expected to take many years to clear,” explains Ian. As before, the Mudlarks will supply all the labour for cutting, bundling and transporting the mangroves to a landing. It is understood that council funding will be seriously reduced meaning that other expenses including chipping will need to be met from other sources.
Members of the public are invited to become Mudlark supporters by paying an annual subscription of $10.

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