Stuart Joyce, Waikato Branch Manager
Morphum Environmental has been engaged by Hamilton City Council to assess the entire open watercourse network in the Mangakotukutuku catchment, which totals 35 kilometres in length.
Mangakotukutuku is a significant catchment in Hamilton given its ecological habitat and intact natural gully system. The catchment discharges into the Waikato River at Peacockes Road esplanade. A large proportion of the catchment is undeveloped, and is earmarked for urban growth in the next several decades. Morphum Environmental’s role is to collect baseline ecological and hydrological data about the existing state of the watercourse to help inform ongoing management and enhancement of the gully. In addition, the NZTA Southern Links road management project has designated several significant highways for construction within the undeveloped area. This increases the complexity of the watercourse assessment project, and amplifies the importance of managing the area to reduce effects on the natural environment.
Due to the significant changes set to occur in the catchment, Morphum Environmental is collaborating with several other consultancies, and Hamilton City Council, to gain insight into the catchment as a basis for engagement in long term management of the area. This collaborative part of the project will inform Hamilton City Council around how best to balance maintenance of the natural environment with the facilitation of growth in the region.