First sod turned on aquifer recharge trial
A blessing took place at the site of the Managed Aquifer Recharge Trial at Kaiaponi Farms, today Friday 17 March.
A karakia was performed by kaumatua Charlie Pera and stakeholders were welcomed by Deputy Mayor Rehette Stoltz.
Councillor Stoltz thanked Rongowhakaata and Te Aitanga a Mahaki iwi and hapu for support and guidance.
Cedric Witters, Owner, and Scott Wilson, Manager, of Kaiaponi Farms were acknowledged in providing the injection site and infiltration chamber to take 110,000 cubic metres of water from the Waipaoa River to inject into the aquifer over winter.
“The Makauri aquifer is important to tangata whenua, the community and local industry supplying nearly a third of all irrigation water to producers on the Poverty Bay Flats,” said councillor Stoltz
“The trial is important in protecting water levels in the aquifer, the mauri and as a potential tool for water management and sustainability.”
“Council staff working with local irrigators and technical experts, Golder Associates, are to be commended for their efforts in getting the trial off the ground.
“They’ve undertaken extensive testing, monitoring and engagement in the best interests of our people and the environment.”
Councillor Stoltz also thanked Eastland Community Trust and the Ministry for Primary Industries for funding the trial.
Drilling and construction of the injection bore and monitoring bores will get underway next week.
If the trial is successful, a detailed business case would be completed before any further support is committed by Council.
Deputy Mayor Rehette Stoltz and Charlie Pera turn the first sod at the site of the Managed Aquifer Recharge Trail at Kaiaponi Farms