20 Sep, 2021
The Mangawhai Harbour Restoration Society (MHRS) is currently completing its annual harvesting of juvenile mangroves which is conducted under resource consent, provided by the Northern Regional Council.
This covers an area of 34 hectares, all of which is on the eastern seaward side of the southern bridge entrance to Mangawhai, quite identifiable as you arrive, with clearing sandy beaches and pristine waters to the east, and mangroves in abundance to the west.
Council contractors were at work last week with tractor machinery cutting back mature mangroves threatening to cover Insley Street, invading from the western side, just before the school. This is a regular occurrence in trying to control what is an out-of-control environmental pandemic.
This annual process, conducted by the MHRS, whilst restricted to the eastern side helps in maintaining the health of the harbour, encouraging an increase in fish and shellfish numbers, plus ensuring areas for marine invertebrates to breed, thereby providing food for the growing number of resident and migratory birds that enhance our estuary.
The Covid restrictions have delayed full completion, but is now underway.
The mangroves that inhabit our Mangawhai waterways are unique, there is just the one species of temperate mangrove in New Zealand [Avicenni marina] known as Manawa. The reason they are unique is that unlike in other countries, the New Zealand mangrove does not have any obligate bird species, a bird which relies solely on a mangrove habitat.
The MHRS is knowledgeable of this, and always takes great care with its harbour management responsibilities, ensuring our precious bird life are not only protected but enhanced, with greater access to nesting habitats and growing food supplies.
n Ken Rayward is a member of the Mangawhai Harbour Restoration Society.
Council contractors were at work last week with tractor machinery cutting back mature mangroves threatening to cover Insley Street. PHOTO/JULIA WADE