Reserve establishment and management on braided rivers: the Ashley river
- Science and Research Directorate, Department of Conservation, Private Bag, Christchurch
The braided Ashley River in North Canterbury is an "outstanding" habitat for birds. The threatened wrybill and black-fronted tern nest there. No braided rivers have been reserved but many meet criteria set under the Reserves Act (1980). Since 1985 I have promoted reservation of a 10 km section of riverbed near Rangiora. The riverbed is owned, and the water resources managed, by the North Canterbury Catchment Board. A long process of submissions, talks, meetings and lobbying took place as the NCCB prepared its catchment water and soil management plan. Only a major input from staff and students of Rangiora High School, who became involved in bird and allied studies in the area, finally persuaded the Board to action the proposal. In May the Board announced it was setting up a wildlife management area with a management committee to include DOC and other parties. This is not formal reservation but it is progress.