Advocates for the Tongariro River
The Advocates for the Tongariro River are a community group made up of people passionate about the river. Our aim is to speak out for the Tongariro River and its environs and promote ways to look after the river so that it is here for all to enjoy in the years to come.
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Tongariro River Video April 2023
Notes on the aerial video
In April 2023 the Advocates for the Tongariro River undertook an aerial survey of the river from the delta to Waikato Falls with the aid of a chartered helicopter and professional photographer. The purpose was to assess the state of the river particularly with respect to the spread of invasive vegetation, and also the extent of fallen trees in the aftermath of cyclone Gabrielle. We were concerned not only about the environmental impact, but also the increased flood risk that these factors could pose.
Aside from providing an excellent panorama of the beautiful world renowned river that we all cherish, the video highlights a number of issues:
- Starting at the delta, the video shows a material number of semi-submerged trees which pose a hazard for boats trying to navigate up the river.
- Moving up to the middle reaches we can see the spread of invasive vegetation (e.g. willow,broom, buddleia) and also wilding pine, both on the edges and islands of the riverbed. This vegetation has increased significantly in recent years to the point that it will require major intervention to bring back under control.
- In the upper reaches we can see the damage caused by cyclone Gabrielle, in particular the large number of fallen pine trees on or adjacent to the riverbed. Aside from the potential consequences if these were to be washed down river in a major flood event, it adds weight to the importance of the control of wilding pines in this environment going forwards. It is notable that the native bush has withstood the cyclone comparatively well.
Action taken so far
Since analysing the video we have:
- Engaged with the Waikato Regional Council catchments management team, the Department of Conservation, and the Harbourmaster (re delta area).
- Submitted feedback on the WRC’s Annual Works Programme for the flood protection scheme (a copy of which can be found in the Key Documents section of this website).
- Agreed to assist with funding for DOC’s weed and wilding pine eradication work, and the replanting of low growing plants in the cleared areas.
Your membership subs and donations are most appreciated and will enable us to do more.