World Wetlands Day successful

World Wetland Day is celebrated at the Grovetown Lagoon.
World Wetland Day is celebrated at the Grovetown Lagoon.

Marlborough people took up a World Wetlands Day invitation to explore the Grovetown Lagoon and Para Swamp yesterday.

Grovetown Lagoon Society chairman Tim Barton said about 100 people were at the Grovetown Lagoon by the Wairau River to kayak and walk around the area where willows are being removed and native plants planted.

Some also learned how to weave with flax and make fish from stones gathered from the Wairau River.

Margaret Bond teaches Owen Sidley, 8, how to weave with harakeke (flax).
Margaret Bond teaches Owen Sidley, 8, how to weave with harakeke (flax).

"This is a community project and it was good to have people visit to see the progress being made," Mr Barton said.

Co-ordinator Jenny Keene said people could canoe the lagoon any time.

Margaret Bond held a weaving workshop and started by showing how to gather harakeke (flax).

World Wetland Day is celebrated at the Grovetown Lagoon.
World Wetland Day is celebrated at the Grovetown Lagoon.

She also showed how to make inaka (fish) from flax.

"People think you can use any flax for anything but different flax have different properties," Ms Bond said.

Ms Bond belongs to the Rangitane iwi which is part of the Te Whanau Hou group restoring the lagoon. She is a pouako raranga (weaving expert) helping teach a course at the Omaka Marae near Blenheim.

New Zealand Fish & Game Marlborough field officer, Vaughan Lynn, said 32 people met at the Para Swamp on Saturday to hear about conservation work being done there to create a habitat for waterfowl.

The Marlborough Express