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Wairoa Stream - Public Planting Day - Rescheduled to Sunday, 26 June

Vision Kerikeri and Living Waters invite you to help restore Wairoa Stream and plant 1,000 native plants. Add to the 9,000 plants already planted. Details are:

Where: Sammaree Reserve

When: Sunday 26h June 0900 -1230

Contact Rod Brown if you can help

Ken Ross, the FNDC Community Development Adviser, who has lived in Kerikeri for 40 years, has told us that building a track up the Wairoa Stream has been talked about since the 1980’s so we are delighted to have this challenging project well underway.

A little history on the Wairoa Stream and track

Until the construction of the Kerikeri Irrigation Scheme, the Wairoa Stream was the source of irrigation water for the orchard lands running from Riddell Road to the mouth of the stream at Pa Road.

Max Robinson, auctioneer and orchardist, whose former property is now developed as Orchard Estate on Cobham Road, once commented that the overlapping rhythms of diesel powered pump-sheds echoing through the valley, was the sound of a Kerikeri summer. One of these, derelict but intact, remains on the reserve beneath the Keridale Lane subdivision.

Max also reported that during dry spells the Wairoa was periodically pumped dry. This, of course, was a potential source of friction between neighbours, and was one of the issues leading to the construction of the irrigation dams on the Waipapa and Waiwhakangarongaro streams.

About eight years ago,Richard MacIntosh who grew up by the Wairoa Stream and who now lives in Wellington, promoted tracks to Charley’s Rock (which has since been built) and to the Wairoa Stream waterfall. At that time he could not get past riparian rights on a section of the stream. He passed his material on to me when he left the area. Many of the now sizable karaka and pigeonwood trees along the stream bank were planted by Richard from plants provided by The Shade House Volunteers.

Wairoa Walkway and wildlife corridor progress

After 3 years we have reached 240 metres upstream from Cobham Bridge and are now abreast of Sammaree Reserve.

The density of the neglected jungle of Acmena, Taiwan cherry, brush wattle, tobacco weed, inter-tangled with the vines; moth plant, jasmine, blue morning glory, Japanese honeysuckle and ivy, has for both the last and this year, required 3 days hard work for an experienced digging contractor, to clear the stream banks in readiness for planting.