Work to establish artificial reef starts end of this month
Next week, Heron will start taking limestone rock out to our primary artificial reef site 1.4 kilometres north east of Pania Reef (see map below).
The arrangement of these boulders into a reef will take place over the next 18 months. The limestone, which mimics a natural reef system, will create a structure to encourage colonisation of algal and invertebrates, which will in turn help to attract fish.
There will be no fishing at the reef during construction and until it is well-established.
We have also secured resource consent to develop a second artificial reef at another site – known as Gwen B – if we have enough limestone after establishing the first. We’ll keep you posted about this development.
Marine exclusion zone around port extended
As announced, the harbour master has extended the safety exclusion zone around the port. For your safety, if you’re out on the water please ensure you keep out of the exclusion zone unless on port business (marked below) and keep 50 metres away from the dredge.
Meet our team: Paul Rose and Te Kaha Hawaikirangi – environmental advisors
Meet Paul Rose and Te Kaha Hawaikirangi. Both are environmental advisors for Napier Port. They’re working on the 6 Wharf programme, making sure we protect the environment as we build this essential wharf for our region.
1. Tell us what your work on 6 Wharf involves.
Paul: We make sure Napier Port has the plans and measures in place to minimise the potential for harm to our environment as we undertake construction and dredging. That includes protecting marine mammals, minimising noise and traffic for our neighbours and protecting the birdlife that lives on port – like the penguins we’ve been moving to our sanctuary this week.
Te Kaha: I believe the work we do is similar to that of a kaitiaki; we monitor and protect our environment. We also engage with mana whenua and make sure we are all on the same page when it comes to protecting the cultural importance of the marine environment.
2. What’s been the most challenging or interesting part of the project for you so far?
Paul: Becoming a qualified penguin handler is definitely up there. I’ve suffered a minor scratch or two along the way as we relocate them out of harm’s way. Each penguin that is relocated is also micro chipped, which provides valuable research on the at-risk and declining species.
Te Kaha: Establishing the Marine Cultural Health Programme – it’s the first of its kind in Aotearoa. We want a cultural monitoring programme that doesn’t just satisfy the consent conditions but is to a gold standard and meets the expectations of mana whenua.
3. How long have you lived in the Bay and what brought you to the Port?
Te Kaha: I whakapapa to the local hapu that hold mana whenua in the Ahuriri area and have lived here all my life. I was previously with the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council. I moved to Napier Port last year to add to my kete of knowledge about the marine environment and on cultural matters.
Paul: I grew up in the Bay and have been working at the Port for just over three years. Everyday at the Port is different, from working with the public to creating an artificial reef and chasing penguins in the rock walls.
Left to right: Te Kaha finding and relocating a korora; and Paul (right) with Professor Cockrem from Massey University.
Left to right: Location of reef where the GPK will be heading to with limestone rock to build the reef; and the extended marine exclusion zone is now in place.
If you have a question about the 6 Wharf project or something you’d like to learn more about, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.