Restore the Mahurangi River - Step 1
A fund to begin the reviving & enhancing of the Mahurangi River for greater use & enjoyment by all.
The Mahurangi river provided the original access to the township of Warkworth and was essential for the development of the Rodney region. Once more the river is needed to see Warkworth grow as top tourist destination and resource for all to enjoy.
The Warkworth Community have in the recent past been instrumental in carrying out a number of significant projects including the revival of the Town-Basin through building a new wharf, pontoon structure and Riverbank walkway, creating the Lucy Moore Park adjacent to the Town Basin and the resurrection of and rebuilding of the only sailing scow left in New Zealand – the 1908 Jane Gifford, which now operates from the new wharf.
The driving force behind these projects has been the trustees of the MRRT, Peter Thompson and Hugh Gladwell. Peter has been the prime advocate and mover in all three of the above projects. The Trust has been granted charitable status.
Over the past 10 years, a plan has been formulated to restore the River and enhance the Town Basin along the lines of the Whangarei Town Basin. To that end, a resource consent has been sought from Auckland Council to deposit and reuse sediment from the River onto a low lying property down River, to create more usable land, and to reshape and enhance the Riverbank to provide better access to the public.
Following a 2 year process, the resource consent has just been issued. Many local professional firms have either sponsored or worked at cost to achieve the consent.
The removal of sediment will allow free movement of vessels on the River over all tides which will attract significant numbers of visitors for recreational and commercial purposes. It will also mean the Jane Gifford can continue operating out of the town where she is used for educational school trips and also tourist trips. Currently, the tidal range is restricting the timing of various regattas and local events and the use of the River and the Warkworth waterfront by the general public.
We believe the project is unique in that it will be a first for New Zealand where a community has gathered together to restore and improve such a natural treasure. To do nothing will mean the River will continue to silt and be lost to future generations.
The cost of the project will be in excess of $4,000,000. Local service clubs (Lions and Rotary) are right behind the project and have already assisted with some funds in support of the consent process.
The timeframe envisaged would be spread over 3 years however this would be influenced by the level of funding. Progress and outcomes will be monitored and quantified continually by electronic means.
The increased waterflow on the River will have an environmental benefit as the removal of the silt will assist in water flow and the flushing of the River and Harbour.
The project has been managed by an advisory Board appointed by the Trustees.
The Board is made up of people with business, commercial, local body and boating experience. A purpose built tug and barge have been constructed by Peter Thompson and are ready to start work.
The project has an environmental focus but is also aimed at making the Mahurangi River a focal point for the town and surrounding region and enhancing the beauty of the River and the riverbank for the benefit of local residents and the general public.
Use of funds
Removal of silt to assist water flow and give greater access for vessels of all sizes up and down the river.
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Penny Webster is the chair of Matakana Coast Tourism with a focus to see the area build on past successes and repositioning the Matakana & Mahurangi region at the forefront of visitor experiences.
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