The Ararira-LII was once a large wetland spreading from what is now the Lincoln township to the mouth of Te Waihora (Lake Ellesmare) which would have been much higher than what it is now.
European settlers dug the water network from around 1875 to 1915 to drain the land for agriculture and cleared most of the vegetation. Since then the waterways have been used solely to drain the water away from the land, taking sediment and nutrients which eventually end up in the lagoon.
These classified drains play an important role in the overall health of the lower lying lagoon and wetlands. The straightness and lack of plant life means a lack of habitat for our native species. Living Water and Te Taumutu Rūnanga are working to change this by working together to manage the drains as waterways and show there is value in looking after them for both water quality and to bring back biodiversity to predominantly agricultural areas, one of the first steps is undertaking the Cultural Helath Assessment, facilitated by Boffa Miskell. Watch the video below to see how we're doing this.