2024 - March

Kia ora whānau

Ō2NL Project - Te Ripo o Hinemata

NZTA are currently in the process of getting the necessary Resource Management approvals for the SH1 Ōtaki to north of Levin Highway “Project”. 

As part of this process, they are figuring out what ecological actions need to be taken to balance out the project's impact on the environment. These actions will aim to improve biodiversity and ecology overall, compared to how things are now. One of the things they want to do is restore wetlands.

Te Ripo o Hinemata – Proposal 

They would like to work with our Trust to undertake wetland restoration works at Te Ripo o Hinemata.  

The broad scale of work that is proposed is: 

  • Animal pest control;
  • Adjust hydraulic function of the wetland by modifying the existing outlet control structure to: 
  • Raise water level in wetland by approximately 30cm (the intention is to eradicate reed canary grass);  Once the reed canary grass has been controlled reduce water levels and plant with native wetland species; Subsequently raise water levels again by approximately 10-30cm; Remove drains and hydraulic barriers as necessary; 
  • and maintain and manage wetland area with an ongoing pest control programme. 

 These works are subject to being able to obtain Resource Management approvals. Also, as Te Ripo o Hinemata is protected by a Department of Conservation covenant, the works are also subject to obtaining a concession from the Department of Conservation. 

Provided that the Ō2NL Project proceeds to construction and if our land is needed to address the ecological effects of the “Project”, NZTA’s role will be to obtain necessary approvals, to undertake this works and then to:  

  • Maintain and monitor the planting until 90% canopy closure (co-management opportunities for us to help are welcome). They expect the maintenance period could be over a period of up to approximately 8 years, although we have suggested 20 years would suit us, that is under discussion.  
  • Pest plans to be absent or supressed after three years from site preparation. 
  • Manage pest weeds and animal until 90% canopy closure is achieved; and 
  • Pay all administrative costs associated with securing relevant statutory approvals and DOC concessions.  

As part of this process we will provide access to their contractors to undertake survey, monitoring, construction and planting work as well for the maintenance and monitoring period.   

They want to undertake these activities in the period 2025 – 2029, although this would also be a subject to discussions with us.  

Subject to these approvals and concessions being obtained they are looking to secure our agreement in principle for the work to be undertaken. 



It is proposed that the following programme of technical assessment is undertaken.  

  •  Complete design of work with Trust and lodge Resource Management applications for culvert and drain works (need Department of Conservation approval as per covenant) – by middle of 2024 
  • Once Resource Management approvals are in hand, confirm programme and design with Trust – by end of 2024 
  • Obtain KiwiRail access permits – by March 2025 
  • Confirm detailed works methodology and programme – by May 2025 
  • Undertake work – potentially during the Summer 2025 

Commencing with this technical work does not commit the Trust or Waka Kotahi to undertaking physical works but would require us, the Trust to provide access to the site for their contractors to undertake investigations and survey.  

In the future they will need to enter into an agreement with us that secure the ability for Waka Kotahi to undertake the wetland restoration works and subsequent maintenance period.  

The design of the restoration and maintenance will be discussed and agreed with us taking into consideration how we want to use and manage the area in the future.  The design of the planting (species, composition and spacing) and monitoring and maintenance requirements will be informed by Resource Management requirements, which is a current ongoing process.  They need these processes to be completed before we can confirm a legal agreement with us.  


Overall, this Ō2NL project will support our Intergenerational wetlands restoration kaupapa that we've been working on here for the last three decades.  It is about restoring our whenua, ngārara, te repo, te taiao on our  ancestral whenua.  

Please come to our next Trusts hui, Saturday, 6th April in the Wharekai at Kererū Marae from 1pm to 3pm to find out more e te whānau."

Johnny McGregor


Manawatū Kukutauaki No3 Sec 2B1 & 2E5 Trusts