Restoring the Mahurangi
If you have ever enjoyed spending time on the beautiful Mahurangi River, you can now contribute to its dredging and maintenance.
In June the Mahurangi River Restoration Trust welcomed the announcement that the Auckland Council has granted a Resource Consent to dredge the historic river and return it to a navigable condition.
Over many years siltation from farming, forestry and human activities has built up to the extent that continued all-tide access has become impossible. Vessel movements are now restricted to approximately two hours either side of the high tide.
The consent allows dredging to a depth of 1.50m below chart datum. Apart from reopening the river to navigation, it is believed the increased tidal flow will help clean and improve the water quality in the river.
A plan has been approved to use the spoil from the dredging on a designated land site in the Mahurangi district, which avoids any dumping of sediment at sea. Spoil may also be used to enhance public facilities on the riverbanks.
Estimated cost is $4-million and it is expected the project will take about three years – less if early funding is achieved. The Trust will be making applications to funding organisations, but is also seeking support from the public and the boating community.
Two purpose built shallow draft tugs and a large barge with excavator will be operating in the river. However existing navigation will not be impeded. The tugs will be communicating on VHF when operating. Signs will be placed in the river before the dredge starts operation.
The Mahurangi River is an historic stretch of water and for many years was navigable from its mouth at the southern end of Kawau Bay to the township of Warkworth. It was once the only means of access to the north before the road network was established.
It was an early centre of boatbuilding and related marine industries and more recently has become the base for the Jane Gifford, the last surviving original sailing scow in New Zealand. The river siltation has severely hampered the scow’s activities to the point where serious thought was being given to moving her to a more tide-friendly port.
The Mahurangi River scenery is magnficent, with native bush to the river edge. On the approaches to Warkworth, the river passes the old Wilson’s Cement Works, where a small marina is located. Further upstream you will pass Robertson Boatbuilders before arriving at the Town Basin. The basin has been significantly developed to allow berthage for visiting boaties, who can take in the cafes and restaurants and replenish supplies from the shops in a delightful village atmosphere. Service industries are also plentiful.
The Trust, which is a registered charitable organisation with an Advisory Board, is appealing for support. Donations, which can be tax deducted, can be made to either via the project's Givealittle page, or direct to their account.
Givealittle page - click here
Mahurangi River Restoration Trust
ASB Account 12 3095 0034484 00, or cheque to PO Box 343, Warkworth.
Please contact ;
Steve Burrett 021 942732
Hugh Gladwell 021 606409
Peter Thompson 0274 925276