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Removing seedling mangroves from Pepe Stream

 |  Neville Mace  | 
My wife recently posted a suggestion to remove seedling mangroves within the Pepe stream on Tairua chitchat.

We believed this to be an open forum with reasonable debate and opinions offered. This appears not to be the case. Some abusive replies from a fanatical minority have convinced my wife to withdraw from the discussion.

But I would appreciate the opportunity to clarify some points in an independent forum.

To those of you who made these comments I would like to reply

  • We are neither sad nor ignorant. I am a trained horticulturist with over 50 years’ experience in the propagation and growing native plants, and, the implementation of hundreds of plantings including wetland revegetation
  • I believe people have missed the point of our letter. Firstly, we have never seen mangroves as an impediment to our view. Pohutukawa do that just fine. We are suggesting the removal of the seedlings within the sandy areas of the estuary and have never supported the removal within the inter tidal areas, where filtration can occur.
  • The massive expansion mentioned is not due to the dirty water, rather, a huge seed set due to warm and wet spring conditions; most trees have responded in this way. Witness this year’s Pohutukawa flowering.
  • Regarding fish nurseries, yes, these occur. But only after the organic matter and leaf drop creates a mud base to support a food source such as crabs and small fish. This is fine around the estuary edges where filtration is a benefit.  It is not fine in the sandy areas of the mid estuary and sandy swimming areas. These areas attract hundreds of people every sunny day and must inject thousands of dollars into the Tairua economy. The estuary and harbour are Tairua.
  • The estuary foreshore will suffer minimal storm damage. It is surrounded by heavy papa rock and is heavily vegetated, much of it noxious weed.

Finally, we have holidayed and swum in this area for twenty-six years.  Like many, we are now having our third generation of family visiting and safely using the area. In that time we have kept the area clean and useable for all families. I would make the following suggestions to all who voiced their opinions.

  • Help us. Come and pick up plastic, bottles, and other rubbish, keep swimmable areas available, trim the lawn edges, control ginger and other noxious weeds and save the only swimmable area for many.
  • To alleviate your environmental concerns, perhaps, look at the sources of pollution that flow out on every outgoing tide. Question why dredged sand was able to be deposited around the harbour edge and seemingly end up above the bridge creating shallows and diverting the original channels. Then come down after heavy rainfall and see just how much silt is carried out of the entire harbour and out through the bar.
  • Put some effort into the above and we will all get what we want.

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