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Grovetown Lagoon Restoration Project


Newsletter 64 June 2023

Published on Jun 7, 2023

Kelly’s Creek at Grovetown Lagoon is undergoing a transformation. Rob Simons from the Marlborough District Council’s biosecurity team and the team from Kūmānu Environmental are working to eradicate the willows along Kelly’s Creek (see the map below). Willows are a key weed to eradicate as they are a transformer species which alter the surrounding environment, out-competing the native species and forming dense stands along stream banks which can change the course of a waterway.


The work at Kelly’s Creek is part of a landscape-scale weed control and restoration project, Restoring and Protecting Flora, which is managed by The Nature Conservancy Aotearoa NZ (TNC NZ) through the Kotahitanga mō te Taiao Alliance. The funding for this work comes from Central Government’s Jobs for Nature, Mahi mō te Taiao program, which provides funding across multiple government agencies to benefit the environment, people and the regions as part of the COVID-19 recovery package.


Kotahitanga mō te Taiao (“Collective Action for Our Nature”) is an Alliance between 15 partners including iwi, local and central Government, which aims to get the best possible conservation outcomes for people and nature in Te Tauihu (Top of the South Island) and Buller/Kawatiri by acknowledging that conservation can go faster alone but further together. TNC NZ is the New Zealand arm of global conservation not-for-profit organisation The Nature Conservancy, and a key supporter of the Kotahitanga mō te Taiao Alliance.


The initial willow control work at Kelly’s Creek has now been completed. The work has been challenging, with boggy densely vegetated terrain and swarms of wasps, (the wasps feed off the sticky sweet excretion of the black aphid which lives on willow trees). Undertaking the willow control has revealed extensive infestations of Old Man’s Beard and Japanese honeysuckle. Work is continuing to tackle these tough climbing weeds as well as monitoring the success of the willow treatment. Follow up willow control work will be undertaken prior to the completion of the program in April 2024.

Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is to be held on Tuesday 25 July 2023, 3pm in the Committee Room at the Council offices in Blenheim, all welcome. Te Whanau Hou Grovetown Lagoon is managed by a two-tier management system - the Executive and the Working Group. The Executive is the governance group and the Working Group manages the daily operations. At the AGM the community members will be elected to the Executive.

If you would like to nominate a person for the Executive then please email me, Justine Johnson at johnsonmarlborough@gmail.com with the details outlined below by Friday the 30th of June. There are four community representative members on the Executive.


If volunteers, lagoon users or members of the public have any matters which they would like on the agenda for the AGM they can be emailed to Justine Johnson at johnsonmarlborough@gmail.com by the 30th of June.  


Trap Lines

A big thank you to Shannon Ritter who has been coordinating the trapping program at the lagoon, we have benefitted from her vast pest control knowledge. Shannon is now working in Wellington. If there is anyone that would like to volunteer to coordinate the trapping program then please get touch with Tim Barton or Justine Johnson, contact details are at the end of the newsletter.


A big thank you to Mike Newman of Meaters of Marlborough who is supporting the Lagoon by donating the sausages to the Sunday working bees. If you would like to enjoy a delicious Meaters sausage in a beautiful outdoor environment then please come to the working bee on Sunday.  Thank you Meaters!

Sunday Working Bee

Come down to the Grovetown Lagoon on Sunday the 11th of June and join us for a working bee. Meeting 9.30am at the Rowing Club. We will be tree planting and clearing weeds, working from 9.30 to 11.30am followed by a cup of tea and BBQ.


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