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Friends of the Hutt River

Year Started: 
Contact Person: 
George Butters
E-mail address: 
Group Members: 
Hutt River from Upper Hutt to Lower Hutt and the estuary, and the catchments of its 5 tributaries: Hutt, Pakuratahi, Mangaroa, Akatarawa, Whakatikei
New Zealand

Friends of the Hutt River is an advocacy group formed May 2011. Terasa Horman and Pat van Berkel were concerned about Greater Wellington Regional Council seeking permission to remove more water from the Hutt River for a period of three years whilst the reservoirs at Te Marua were strengthened and enlarged. They held two public meetings, one in Lower Hutt and one in Upper Hutt. From these meetings a group of very concerned public formed a core group.Check out our vision,aims and objectives in the Statement of Purpose in the Documents area.

Friends of the Hutt River has evolved into a  respected advocacy group  speaking out for the good of the River, Te Awakairangi. The whole catchment of the Hutt River that is the Hutt, the Pakuratahi, the Mangaroa, the Akatarawa and the Whakatikei are the group's concern.

The group sees its role as one of asking the hard questions of government agencies and informing the public about things that can be done to protect our precious water,and restoring the river to be swimmable, fishable and safe for food gathering. Sometimes that means submission writing as appropriate. In short any activity that highlights the state of the river and its catchment, and improves its health

One of the early group activities was a bus trip from the weir at Kaitoke where the region's water is extracted to the river mouth at Seaview. There were stops along the the way with speakers at each stop. Thirty five people took the trip which lasted all day. All agreed it was a day well spent and there have been requests to repeat the experience this summer.

Another activity has been providing information evenings about such things as the benthic cyanobacteria which each summer causes toxic algal blooms in the water and prevents people and dogs from using the river for recreation. We are fortunate to have Mark Heath as a member of the group. Mark is conducting research in our region and especially on the Hutt River into why these ancient bacteria can become toxic.

The group has networks with other care groups such as the Waiwhetu Stream care group, Fish and Game NZ, Forest and Bird and WaiNZ. The advantage of the networking is that information can be quickly shared and acted upon.

We welcome people into our active core group that meets monthly and we welcome you to join our email list to receive occasional updates. Contact details below.