Bringing birds (and eels) back to Kaituna

Bringing birds (and eels) back to Kaituna

The Kaituna wetland, on our Kaituna vineyard, near Renwick, is one of the largest remaining spring-fed wetlands in Marlborough. Covering 10 hectares, it is home to many native birds, including tuis and pukekos, as well as the endemic and threatened New Zealand long-finned eels.

In 2001, our vineyard teams began regenerating the wetlands, initially developing the three main ponds and terraces, by clearing away non-native plants and replanting native wetland flora. We have also undertaken pest eradication to reduce the number of stoats and possums that threaten native birds. In 2008, we entered into a three-year partnership with Marlborough District Council, who assisted with the provision of plants.

Over 8000 native plants and trees have been planted, as well as on-going waterway development, and the majority of this work has been undertaken by our staff. The recent discovery of a native fresh water crayfish, eel and Inanga (small fish species similar to Whitebait) is a promising sign of a healthy wetland.

In 2013, we completed stage one of a new boardwalk at the wetlands. Designed and built by staff, the walkway was constructed in six-metre sections, each weighing around 500kg, which were then manoeuvred into place using helicopters, to minimise the damage to the already restored wetland areas. The boardwalk brings the total walking path to 600m (including gravel paths). When the final stage is completed, there will be a 1.5km walkway, providing locals with the opportunity to explore the restored wetlands and its unique biodiversity.

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