Bay of Plenty Regional Council has brought the Maketu community a step closer to having a healthy estuary by gaining resource consent approval for the Kaituna Re-diversion and Estuary Ongatoro/Maketu Enhancement Project.
The project will return an average of 600,000 cubic meters of fresh water from the Kaituna River into Ongatoro/Maketu Estuary on every tidal cycle, and create at least 20 hectares of new wetlands.
“This is a big milestone for both the Maketu community and the environment. It’s been a long time coming,” said Regional Council Chairman Doug Leeder.
The planned re-diversion will direct 20 percent of the river’s flow back into the estuary while maintaining existing flood protection levels and channel navigability at Te Tumu cut.
Funding for the project has been budgeted for in the Bay of Plenty Regional Council 2015-25 Long Term Plan which was adopted last week.