24 Jun 2013

Maketu locals say river diversion a positive step

11:42 am on 24 June 2013

Maketu residents say plans to divert part of the Kaituna River are a positive step towards restoring what was once known as the foodbowl of Te Arawa.

Since 1956, the river has been diverted out to sea at Te Tumu, north of Maketu, to protect low-lying farmland from flooding.

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council has committed $6.2 million towards the project, which would result in almost a quarter of the river instead being diverted into the estuary to improve its health.

Resident Barry Wilkinson says it is positive the council's taking this step, but up to about three-quarters of the river needs to flow through the estuary to get it to where it should be.