Nick Smith, third from left, and Tasman District Council mayor Richard Kempthorne, fourth left, with landowners, Tasman Environmental Trust members and council staff at Neiman Creek on Wednesday.

Funds for creek restoration

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A creek that feeds into the Waimea Estuary is to be cleaned up thanks to a government grant.

The $67,000 Community Environment Fund grant announced by Environment Minster Nick Smith on Wednesday will be used to restore the water quality of Neiman Creek in Appleby, which runs adjacent to the Waimea River.

neimann-creekIt is one of two small, spring-fed creeks which enter the estuary either side of the Waimea River and is home to native wildlife and fish, including high populations of inanga and eels. The quality is affected by high nitrate levels and sedimentation.

“This creek is an important spring-fed contributor to the Waimea Inlet estuary and its restoration is a great collaborative initiative,” Nick says. “The application from the Tasman Environmental Trust involves a comprehensive restoration plan prepared in conjunction with the Tasman District Council and DOC.

“Many landowners have also been consulted and are supportive of the planned restoration.”

The restoration plan involves sediment removal, willow and aquatic weed control, fencing where required and an area of habitat restoration. The Trust plans to revegetate and improve the banks of the creek with support from central and local government and community groups, similar to the habitat restoration of Pearl Creek on the other side of the Waimea River.

“New Zealand needs to lift its management of freshwater and our region can be proud of recent initiatives in waterways such as the Maitai in Nelson, Poorman’s Creek in Stoke, the Aorere in Golden Bay and the Matakitaki in Murchison,” Nick says. “River by river, creek by creek, we are making a difference. This initiative in Neiman Creek at Appleby adds to this nationwide campaign.”