The settling of new bird life in areas around the rivermouths south of Napier is starting to prove the value of the Hawke's Bay Regional Council's wetlands restoration projects.
Council manager of land management Garth Eyles said four bittern had settled in the area, and there were other examples, including spoonbill and the increasing numbers of heron and paradise ducks.
"To have four bittern in one place is quite good," he said.
Hawke's Bay Fish and Game senior fish and game officer Iain Maxwell says the three-stage project and other aspects of wetland restoration on a council and farmland in Hawke's Bay were "fantastic," and there were real changes in attitudes towards the protection of the habitat.
The council currently has an $87,000 budget for restoration work in three public area - the Waitangi project up and downstream of the Waitangi Bridge at Awatoto, the Pekapeka Swamp south of Hastings, and the lower Tukituki.
It also increased from $75,000 to $100,000 its contestable fund for assistance restoration on private land, and 26 smaller new projects were being undertaken as a result.
The Waitangi project includes viewing areas for public who can gain access from the sitge of the Colenso Memorial, and also the creation of whitebait spawning areas using pre-existing old channels, from which the benefits could be expected within two years.
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