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Actions to Restore the Health and Wellbeing of the Waikato River – the Independent Scoping Study RMLA conference, Hamilton 6 th October 2011 Kit Rutherford.

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Presentation on theme: "Actions to Restore the Health and Wellbeing of the Waikato River – the Independent Scoping Study RMLA conference, Hamilton 6 th October 2011 Kit Rutherford."— Presentation transcript:

1 Actions to Restore the Health and Wellbeing of the Waikato River – the Independent Scoping Study RMLA conference, Hamilton 6 th October 2011 Kit Rutherford NIWA, PO Box 11-115, Hamilton

2 Context for the study 2010 Waikato-Tainui Raupatu Claims (Waikato River) Act ‘…ushers in a new era of co-management between the Crown and the five Waikato River Iwi to protect the Waikato River...’ Creates o a new co-management body – the Waikato River Authority o a ‘clean up’ fund – administered by the WRA – $7m per year for 30 years

3 Waikato-Tainui Maniapoto Raukawa Te Arawa Tuwharetoa Waikato-Tainui has ‘settled’ with the Crown Other 4 iwi are negotiating with the Crown All 5 Waikato River iwi are involved in co-management

4 Scoping Study – WRISS 2009-2010 Steered by the Guardians Establishment Committee (GEC) Funded by the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) Key contributors NIWA – lead Diffuse Sources Limited Tipa and Associates AgResearch Beca Enveco Nimmo-Bell & Company Limited Market Economics Limited

5 Study brief 1.What do we need to do? 2.How much will it cost? 3.How long will it take? “…Identify priority actions and associated costs of those actions, necessary to rehabilitate the … health and wellbeing … of the Waikato River and its tributaries, wetlands and lakes for future generations … to achieve Te Ture Whaimana o Te Awa o Waikato …”

6 Te Ture Whaimana o Te Awa o Waikato Te Ture Whaimana o Te Awa o Waikato The vision and strategy “…where a healthy Waikato River sustains abundant life and prosperous communities who in turn are all responsible for restoring and protecting the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River, and all it embraces, for generations to come…” Developed by the GEC through consultation with iwi and the wider community

7 Waikato River ’s health and wellbeing “…The Waikato River is our tupuna and looks over us throughout our lives. The river feeds us, nurtures us and takes care of us, healing our hurts and protecting us from harm. The river is our lifeline from which we take our name, our identity and our mana…“ Some iwi regard the Waikato River as their tupuna (ancestor). The awa (river) represents the mana and mauri of the river iwi. ‘…If the river is degraded then the people suffer – their health and wellbeing is compromised...’ Not just biophysical health (eg water quality, state of the fishery, landscape values etc). Also people’s relationship with the river (eg perceptions, use, guardianship)

8 Challenge – integrate Maatauranga Maaori and Western Science and recommend priority actions Both knowledge systems are concerned with observing, understanding and predicting the effects of various behaviours on future outcomes. But gathering that knowledge required unique methods/techniques. Both knowledge systems are used to identify priority actions.

9 Our approach Consulted with iwi and the wider community Collated input about aspirations and actions Aspirations aligned closely with Te Ture Whaimana o Te Awa Waikato c. 100 suggested actions Investigated the benefits, co-benefits, dis-benefits, practicality & costs More detailed investigations of c. 65 actions Identified our priority actions, benefits and costs Provided information to help the WRA administer the CUT – 33 Technical Appendices

10 Ecological integrity … restored and protected. Abundance … treasured plant & animal species … restored and protected. Abundance … fish and other kai … restored and protected. Water quality …improved. Risk of illness minimised … recreation, food, water supply. Aesthetic and landscape value … improved. Recreational value … improved. Greater access … improve people’s use and enjoyment. Significant and historic sites … recognised, restored, protected. Aspirations to achieve Te Ture Whaimana Actions consider … prosperity … local community, region & New Zealand. People have a secure supply of water … from the Waikato River. Spiritual values … restored and protected. People feel engaged … river … actions to restore and protect. Management … conducted in a holistic, integrated way.

11 Two issues 1. Water quality 2. Traditional fisheries

12 Water clarity Bathing guideline – black disc 1.6m Severely degraded in the lower Waipa lower Waikato floodplain lakes Good in the upper Waikato hydro lakes 0.4 m BD Affected by erosion & phytoplankton Cumulative effects from upstream ‘toilet end’ of the river

13 Agricultural sources

14 Original source – steep, mudstone Including sheep/beef pasture Sediment stores from historic erosion river banks, floodplain re-worked by floods Drainage – peat soils – colour

15 Possible actions * In the first 20 years before harvesting. Once harvesting starts there is a net return ** Co-benefits for pathogens, temperature, ecology, landscape *** Co-benefits for pathogens Actions on dry stock farmsCost ($M) Dry stock farms Fence (single e-wire) and plant poplars on 1 st and 2 nd order streams*** 93 Fence (8-wire post and batten) and plant 10 m native buffer on 3 rd order and larger streams ** 66 Retire and afforest 68,000 hectares of steep hill country pasture91* Earthflow remediation15

16 Fencing hill-country streams is expensive Sheep/beef farming on steep, erodible land has low profitability Conversion to forestry has long-term financial benefits Short-term cash-flow problems – planting costs & low initial income Carbon credits have the potential to add to financial benefits Conversion to native forest has low financial benefits but other co- benefits Re-planting alone may not protect river banks in flood-prone rivers - both reforestation and river bank protection required

17 Nitrogen Eutrophic – 300 mgN/m3 Moderate phytoplankton in the hydro lakes. Occasional blooms High chlorophyll in floodplain lakes. Frequent blooms BGA toxicity Contributes to degradation of colour & clarity Mostly from diffuse sources Pathway – drainage, sub-surface flow Hard to intercept (eg in riparian buffers)

18 Phosphorus Eutrophic – 30 mgP/m3 Some significant point sources Mostly from diffuse sources Pathway – erosion, surface flow Easier to intercept Naturally high on the volcanic plateau Binds to & releases from sediment Debate whether to control N or P Consensus in New Zealand – control both

19 Agricultural sources

20 Model farms 3 dairy (free-draining, poor-draining, peat soils), 3 sheep-beef (Class 3, 4 and 5) 1 forestry 1 horticulture-cropping Losses to water nitrogen (N) – OVERSEER phosphorus (P) – OVERSEER sediment – USLE faecal microorganisms – CLUES Farm profitability – FARMAX


22 Waikato Catchment Model Predict the effects of the hydro dams & landuse on: Nutrients Phytoplankton chlorophyll Clarity Colour Red – current Green – priority actions

23 Dairying makes a major contribution to regional and national income. Nitrogen loss from dairy pasture is hard to reduce. Significant increases in nitrogen concentration in streams, lakes Dairy expansion is occurring in the upper catchment. more nitrogen in the hydro-lakes, more phytoplankton, bigger & more frequent algal blooms?

24 Actions on dairy farmsCost ($M) Dairy farms Improved nutrient management11** Improved effluent management36 Run-off diversion5 Creation of wetlands over one percent of catchment45§ E-fence and plant 5 metre buffers on all streams263 Use of nitrification inhibitors138 Improved management of cropping land-20* Herd shelters (keeping cattle inside in winter)1,090§ Possible actions * Cost savings from erosion control ** Some cost savings from better use of P fertiliser § Not a priority action

25 Waikato River Authority & Regional Council Drystock farming Finance retirement/reforestation on a large scale. Unlikely. Promote retirement of unproductive hill-country farms. Rules? Incentives? Lobby for carbon credits? Dairy farming Consolidate onto ‘best’ dairying land Control expansion into upper catchment – hydro lakes Control expansion onto steeper farmland – greater risk of runoff Fencing of cattle out of streams – no brainer, patchy. Enforcement? Replanting of stream banks. Dissemination of information on methods, benefits, costs etc Co-ordination & funding of Landcare & Streamcare Groups. Incentives? Rules? Enforcement?

26 1,000 § Retrofitting urban stormwater controls 195 Colour removal from Kinleith pulp and paper mill 365*Land disposal of treated human sewage Point source discharges Cost ($M) Actions to improve water quality * Costs subject to engineering feasibility

27 Whitebait Fishery 1931-195046 tonnes 1980s10 tonnes 20003 tonnes Spawning habitat – estuary Fencing, re-planting, Protection Adult habitat – wetlands, lakes Culverts Fencing, re-planting Administration DoC, WRC Quota, monitoring Traditional fishing sites

28 Action to restore the whitebait fisheryCost ($M) Restore and protect iinanga spawning habitat5.9 Restore kookopu habitat in hill country streams9.9 Replace or retrofit road culverts that are barriers to migration4.7 Modify farm culverts that are barriers to migration30.3 Install 'fish-friendly’ tide gates to restore iinanga habitat6.9 Restore iinanga habitat in streams and drains44.3 Remove flood control structures in the Aka Aka/Otaua region220.2§ Re-introduce giant kookopu into restored urban streams0.2 Create a single whitebait management agency7.5 § not a priority action

29 Tuna Fishery 1980s400 tonnes current100 tonnes Quota system in place customary allowance Puhi a traditional kai Longfin eel becoming rare Migration – hydro dams elver transfer adult spawners – problem Migration – pumping stations Overfishing

30 Actions to restore the tuna fisheryCost ($M) Develop and implement a management plan15 Upstream elver transfer6.7 Aquaculture of elvers to sub-adults, then release17.3 Create farm ponds and wetlands in the Lower Waikato177 Install and maintain fish-friendly flood control pumps96.5 Install and maintain intake screens and bypasses at the hydro dams600§ § not a priority action

31 Lake restoration Floodplain lakes – Whangape Hydro lakes – Whirinaki Arm of Ohakuri Invasive species Aquatic weeds Pest fish – koi Toxicity Algal blooms Geothermal arsenic, mercury Adaptive management Monitoring Report cards ….

32 Pulling it all together Scenario modelling

33 S1 current initiatives S2 + proven technology S3 + unproven

34 Summary of the improvement in health and wellbeing of the Waikato River with increasing net cost. Bars represent the range in aspiration scores for each scenario.

35 Scenario 1 Actions already underway – no additional cost


37 We can estimate the costs of restoration, and some monetary benefits Some benefits currently cannot be ascribed a monetary value (e.g., recreation, wellbeing) Estimates suggest non-market values are comparable with the costs of restoration Further work (e.g., on willingness to pay) is required There are significant costs associated with continued degradation ‘…to do nothing is not an option…’ Non-market Values

38 Predicted progress for each aspiration, compared with the current state, assuming full implementation of the recommended priority actions. Holism Engagement Significant sites Access Spiritual values Recreation Aesthetics Human health Water quality Fisheries and kai Taonga species Ecological integrity Water supply


40 Main Findings 1.The priority actions will restore the Waikato River so it almost meets the objectives of Te Ture Whaimana. 2.Assessment supported by the international case studies and restoration projects elsewhere in New Zealand. 3.Estimated net expenditure required is $2,240 million (PV $1,400 million). 4.The CUT cannot/should not fund all priority actions. 5.Expenditure on restoration is estimated to stimulate the local economy but redistribute capital & employment transfer capital & employment from the rest of New Zealand the percentage changes are small

41 1.Some benefits cannot be ascribed a monetary value but NMV are estimated to be comparable with the costs of restoration 2.There are information needs including site selection & engineering design making ‘how to’ guides available to stakeholders, and research on fish and non-market values. 3.The project combines maatauranga Maaori social and biophysical science economics to identify the actions required to meet the aspirations of Maaori wider community for improving the ‘…health and wellbeing…’ of the Waikato River.

42 Key to success ‘…A key to the success of restoration will be to change people’s attitudes and behaviour. This requires a significant effort to engage with the community, industry and local government. If people understand and support the objectives of restoration then it is more likely to be successful…’ ‘…communities …are responsible for restoring and protecting…’ (Te Ture Whaimana) Understanding and support comes through ‘hands on’ involvement in restoration and protection and making greater use of the river, river banks, lakes, wetlands…

43 Acknowledgements Waikato-Tainui Raukawa Tuwharetoa Maniapoto Te Arawa River Iwi The wider Waikato community through consultation Guardians Establishment Committee Ministry for the Environment “Tooku awa koiora me oona pikonga he kura tangihia o te maataamuri. The river of life, each curve more beautiful than the last.”

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