Mangroves and a perfect storm

In response to Dr Rebecca Stirnemann (Letters, April 11), it is acknowledged that mangroves are a native species. What is in dispute is that they are an "out of control" native species due to rising sea temperatures and land management practices, which have allowed sediment silt and fertilisers to enter our waterways and estuaries.

This has provided the perfect storm for mangroves to proliferate in such large numbers and become a monoculture within our harbours and estuaries with certain negative consequences. These include the reduction of other native intertidal plant species, on which the banded rail depends, and the limitation of open water spaces for estuarine birds to feed and roost. You said there is "no evidence that mangroves are having any effect on feeding spaces for wading birds in the Firth of Thames" - is there data confirming this?

In relation to flooding, this frequently occurs after heavy rain when water from the Kaitemako stream enters Welcome Bay through about 5ha of mangroves.

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These reduce the water flow into the bay, with flooding also occurring upstream in the parks in Greerton. Where mangroves have been removed from the stream entering Welcome Bay from the Johnson Reserve there is an unobstructed flow of water.

Currently, mangroves cover about 10.4ha in Welcome Bay alone, which should be ample for juvenile fish to shelter and provide some sort of home for the shy banded rail. (Abridged)

Dr Meg Butler
Welcome Bay

Museum plan concerning

Some people in the community are advocating for a new museum for Tauranga.
As a descendant of an 1840 settler, I have always had an interest in local Tauranga history, however, I have concerns.

Concern that 30 per cent government funding is dependent on unelected tribal leaders dictating the location and who knows what else.

Concern that the highly indebted council that is raising rates by 27 per cent over the next three years can afford this luxury bearing in mind that these projects never seem to turn out within budget or even close. There are plenty of examples - the art gallery springs to mind.

Concern that the council does not have a good track record of overseeing building projects.

Bella Vista homes, the courthouse and its own building in Willow St are examples, among others.

Concern about the real interest and whether the artefacts in storage have ever been catalogued and made available online to gauge that interest ... Surely a low-cost first step that would make a great student project.

Museums are facilities that people use only occasionally and there are far more pressing concerns around infrastructure at this time in my opinion.

Graeme Faulkner
Welcome Bay