Significant improvements have already been made in protecting Ruatoria township from the erosion caused by the meanderings of the Waiapu River.
Large concrete groynes installed to divert the Waiapu River away from the Ruatoria township are working well. The porous groynes are slowly diverting the water flow towards the middle of the river and away from the badly-eroded right bank.
The Waiapu catchment will benefit from a collaborative partnership between, Gisborne District Council, Ministry for Primary Industries and Te Runanganui O Ngāti Porou.
The 3 parties signed a memorandum of understanding demonstrating a 100-year commitment to collaboratively work with landowners to address the health of the Waiapu River catchment. The catchment has the highest suspended sediment yield of any river in New Zealand and one of the highest in the world. If erosion remains untreated in key areas, models suggest that there is the potential for current erosion and sedimentation to double by 2050. The catchment would experience even greater physical damage, the area’s agricultural production would decline, and social deprivation would worsen.
Visit MPI's website for erosion programme - Ministry of Primary Industries website (external link)