Day 3 - Saturday 26 July 2014
University of Waikato - Room S1.02
10.15am Welcome - Vice Chancellor, Professor Roy Crawford
10.30am Opening Address - David J. Lowe
Documenting environmental changes in the Waipa area since 20,000 years ago based on analyses of lake sediments
Sediments that accumulate on lake bottoms over time provide natural archives of environmental change. Analyses of microfossils such as pollen preserved in the sediments enable changes in vegetation and climate, and human impacts, to be evaluated. More than 30 lakes in the Waipa-central Waikato area provide outstanding lacustrine archives dating back 20,000 years, a period spanning the major climatic changes between the last glaciation and the warmer climates of the past 11,700 years, and the arrival of Polynesians around 700 years ago. The lake sediments contain numerous layers of volcanic ash (called tephra, Greek for ‘ashes’) derived from multiple volcanic sources and these layers, together with radiocarbon dating, provide a time-scale for the sediments and a means of precisely linking the lake-sediment records with others. I will show how analyses of sediments from the Waipa lakes have been used to reconstruct past environments since c. 20,000 years ago mainly using a case study on Lake Ngaroto, an important recreational lake near Te Awamutu.
David J. Lowe is a professor in Earth sciences at the University of Waikato. He is a volcanic ash specialist who ‘fingerprints’ and traces volcanic ash, or tephra, layers across the landscape, providing a unique tool (tephrochronology) to date past geological, climatic, ecological, and archaeological events. He uses tephras to construct time-frames to support, for example, studies of abrupt climate changes since 30,000 years ago, volcanic eruption histories and hazards and societal impacts, the timing of Polynesian settlement of New Zealand, and the origins and unique properties of volcanic ash-derived soils. David has been at the University of Waikato for more than 30 years and was Chair of the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences from 2012 until April 2014. He leads a Marsden-funded research project, is president of an international tephra group (INTAV), he leads the international project “INTREPID Tephra”, and he was a co-leader of the just-completed NZ-INTIMATE project (Integration of ice-core, marine, and terrestrial records since 30,000 years ago). A fellow of the Royal Society of N.Z. and the N.Z. Society of Soil Science, David was most recently awarded the McKay Hammer Award (a gold-plated hammer) by the Geosciences Society of New Zealand in 2011 for meritorious publications on tephrochronology.
11.05am Tony Roxburgh with Paula Reeves
The Role the Waipa District Council has played in assisting and securing the unique natural heritage of the Waipa District
Protecting natural ecosystem in landscapes dominated by intensive agriculture and expanding urban settlement poses a significant challenge. It is not a task that many Territorial Authorities would welcome, especially in a climate where the focus is on addressing ‘core infrastructure’ needs. But for the Waipa, with less than 7.5% indigenous vegetation cover and less than 0.2% of the original wetlands remaining, the political will has been to halt the decline and protect what remains wherever possible. The solutions have involved agency and community collaboration, innovation and perseverance. Restoration programmes at Lakes Ngaroto and Rotopiko and at Maungatautari will be used to highlight the Waipa approach.
Tony Roxburgh has spent 33 years in the field of conservation management, beginning with the Wildlife Service, Department of Internal Affairs in 1973 and terminated his employment with central government as Waikato Area Manager for the Department of Conservation, in 2005. Tony is now employed by the Waipa District Council as Manager Community Facilities and has oversight of Council’s Parks, Reserves and Heritage delivery programmes.
Paula Reeves is a technical officer (reserves and water) at Waipa District Council where her main focus is on peat lake restoration and providing advice on the protection and enhancement of biodiversity. Paula is a wetland ecologist with over 20 years’ experience undertaking vegetation surveys, research and monitoring throughout New Zealand. Her current projects include restoration of Lake Ngaroto and Mangakware. Paula was on the National Wetland Trust from 2001-2004 and is currently president of the Waikato Botanical Society.
11.40am David Hamilton
Arresting the decline: Challenges for management of shallow lakes in the Waikato region
Improving water quality of shallow riverine and peat lakes in the Waikato region is a major challenge. There are good examples of restoration of the riparian habitat of several lakes, with increases in biodiversity and aesthetic value, but achieving improvements in water quality and in-lake biodiversity has proved difficult. Single-objective approaches are often not applicable for lake management and a whole-of-system approach is necessary to deal with nutrient legacies, reduce pest fish numbers and develop new methods to manage drain and stream inputs to the lakes. The problems of lake water quality today will not be solved without major innovation and a step change in our restoration approach.
David Hamilton was appointed as the inaugural Bay of Plenty Regional Council Chair in Lake Restoration at the University of Waikato in 2002 and has held this appointment continuously since that time. Hamilton leads a 10-year national research programme on Lake Biodiversity Restoration.
12.15pm Professor Brendan Hicks
Land use and freshwater fish in the Waipa District
Freshwater fish communities of the Waipa district face particular challenges because of the predominant land uses. Forest removal has created huge changes in fish habitat and land-use comparisons of fish communities enable a historic perspective of the changes that must have occurred. Land-use intensification has exacerbated the effects of land use change, but freshwater fish communities also face challenges brought about by fish harvest such as the eel fisheries. This talk will provide an integrated overview of the effects of land-use change and some opportunities to reverse losses in the fish community.
Professor Brendan J Hicks is a fish ecologist with the School of Science at the University of Waikato with a PhD from Oregon State University. He has over 30 years’ experience in freshwater ecology, and has published in the use of stable isotopes in ecology, understanding fish migrations, and fish genetics and evolution. He developed NZ’s only electrofishing boat, and was instrumental in the genetic detection of didymo for MAF Biosecurity NZ. He is a past Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences and is a long-standing contributor to the invasive fish research of the MBIE-funded research programme “Restoring freshwater ecosystems and resurrecting indigenous lake biodiversity”.
LUNCH - 12.50 – 1.35pm
1.35pm Julian Williams
Waikato Raupatu River Trust on Joint Management of the restoration of the Waikato River/Lakes in the Waipa District
There is a long held belief that Iwi want different things to the community, and these become obstacles in achieving mutual outcomes, but we do not. Sometimes we try to merge these different values, but what we find is that we do not need too. Through partnerships and shared understanding, we find that our objectives are similar, and that our values complement each other. Waikato-Tainui presents examples of joint initiatives that strive to achieve the same purpose, whilst empowering the values of those involved.
Julian Williams, Waikato, Ngaati Makirangi Waiti Marae, is currently the Acting Strategy Manager of Waikato Raupatu River Trust. Julian joined the tribe’s Environment Unit in 2003 after graduating with a Bachelor of Social Science majoring in Resource Environment Planning and Geography. He previously worked for Fonterra and Waahi Whaanui Trust. Julian was a leading technical advisor in the negotiation for the Waikato River Claim. His core functions are to implement co-management agreements with Crown Agencies and Local Authorities to promote the traditional rights, control and authority of the tribe. Julian is also engaged in the development of National Reforms for freshwater and resource management. Julian believes his role should empower marae and the community, with the support of partnerships and with a strong focus on our youth.
2.10pm Malcolm Anderson
New Zealand’s, and the World’s Largest Fully Fenced Sanctuary
New Zealand has one of the worst records in the world for loss of indigenous species and related habitat. The dream to turn that loss around is what drove the establishment of Maungatautari as New Zealand’s, and the world’s, largest fully fenced sanctuary. Malcolm’s presentation will outline the challenges and opportunities in Maungatautari’s journey to date, and why the sanctuary is so important regionally, nationally and internationally.
Malcolm Anderson works for the Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust and his career path has been a mix of teaching, conservation, and tourism - both in the commercial and in the not for profit sector. Malcolm has worked in these roles regionally, nationally and internationally. Malcolm is a Winston Churchill Fellow who graduated from the Executive Development Institute for Tourism at the University of Hawaii (Manoa, 2001). He is a dynamic presenter and has spoken to numerous domestic and international audiences: as a guest lecturer on international cruise ships , as a New Zealand expert and Expedition Leader for National Geographic, and on developing quality and a sustainable visitor experience. Malcolm’s other passions include using technology to share the stories of “NZ inc”, organic farming and travel.
2.50pm Bruce Clarkson
Rapporteur: final thoughts
Bruce Clarkson heads the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) and is a Professor of the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Waikato. In 2005, together with independent consultant Dr Wren Green, he carried out a review of progress on the New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy for the chief executives of the sponsoring government agencies; in 2006 he was awarded the Loder Cup, New Zealand’s premier conservation award. From 2005 to 2012 he led a government-funded research programme looking at the best methods to restore indigenous biodiversity in cities. His research has had a direct impact on Hamilton gully restoration initiatives and the Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park project near Hamilton Zoo.
3.20pm Alan Livingston
A Future Super City for Waipa and the Waikato?
Alan Livingston’s connections with the Waipa district go back 30 years, serving for 12 years as mayor of the Waipa district. He has been involved in local, regional and national issues on the district's behalf. He currently serves the Waikato Regional Council and was a signatory to the historic Waipa River joint management agreement between the Maniapoto Māori Trust Board (MMTB) and five local councils − the first time an iwi has signed a joint management agreement involving more than one council under a new Crown-iwi co-management arrangement for restoring the quality and integrity of the Waikato and Waipa rivers.