The Waiuku Mudlarks, the volunteer group who have cleared hundreds of tonnes of mangroves from the Waiuku Estuary, are delighted to have heard from Auckland Council that Council will procure a consent to continue with mangrove clearing in Waiuku Estuary.
However, that good news also comes with news that the volunteers may need to find alternative sources of funding to pay for their operational costs and mulching of the cut mangroves.
The Mudlarks had halted virtually all clearance work after consenting issues meant further work required them to leave a 10m ‘buffer zone’ of mangroves around clearing areas, and were left unable to proceed with new areas in the absence of consents. The Mudlarks say the good news with the latest consent proposal is that it looks likely to cover a huge amount of shoreline.
It will be all the way to The Needles, with the exception of three smallish areas. The ten-metre buffer zone requirement mostly does not apply. The group hope that work can commence before Christmas. This area is so big, that it is expected to take many years to clear.
As before, Mudlarks will supply all labour for cutting, bundling, and transporting to a landing. However, the Mudlarks understand that Council are stopping, or seriously reducing their funding for operating costs, so monies for other expenses like chipping, will have to be sourced from elsewhere.
At this stage Mudlarks have cleared about 8ha, which includes the East side of Tamakae Estuary down to end of View Rd, and on the West side, past the Mudlarks bridge and beyond Riverside drive. When consented, the current intention is to carry mangrove clearing on (Estuary) West side, all the way to Sandspit.
This will then clear the way for the mooted boardwalk section of Tamakae walkway, completing footpath access from behind the Fire Station to Sandspit reserve. This will make a loop walk possible, and have benefits for local folks’ access to town, and for tourism.
The next area cleared would probably be the East side, making the Tamakae Estuary completely clear. A major factor in such a complete removal will be no seeding, seriously reducing the regrowth.
The Mudlarks are enthusiastic about the aesthetic, recreational, and tourism benefits of their work. They are a group of mostly retired guys, and work generally is for a morning, with a tea break with time for banter and a chat.
• Mudlarks welcome help from folk interested in giving a morning’s work now and again, when tide and weather are right. Interested people should contact Ian Scobie 235 2246 or Dave Gribble 235 8867. Or if you are able to be a Mudlarks’ supporter, your subscription of $10 will be welcomed. Application forms are available from the Waiuku Information centre.
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