KCPS decided in 2013 that a photographic project focusing on the Waikanae Estuary would be a good way to show people some of the many aspects of the area and its inhabitants, and also publicise and support the work of the Waikanae Estuary Care Group. Our members have a wide range of photographic interests including landscapes, wildlife, plants and people. Seventeen photographers presented their results in this exhibition of 57 prints – some have taken a pictorial approach, others a more documentary focus.
A slideshow of the images is shown below – but for best effect people saw the beautiful mounted prints in the Roderick and Gillian Deane Community Art Space at the Paraparaumu Library, from 19 to 29 August 2014. The Exhibition was officially opened by the Mayor of KCDC, Ross Church, at a function to which all KCPS members were invited, at 5 pm on Monday 18 August.
A five minute AV of the images is also available on YouTube here.
Introduction to the Estuary
At Waikanae Estuary freshwater from the Tararua Ranges meets the saltwater of the Kapiti coast. This mixing of the waters and the ever-shifting river mouth create an environment of rich plant and animal communities. The estuary is made up of a mosaic of freshwater lakelets, saltwater lagoons and marshes, tidal sand flats, dunes and a sandy beach.
Fauna and Flora
More species of coastal and aquatic birds visit Waikanae Estuary than any other site on the Wellington coast. Over 60 species of birds breed at the Estuary, including banded dotterel, variable oystercatcher, pukeko and dabchick. Visiting birds include royal spoonbills, wrybills, black-fronted terns, and godwits. Carpets of remuremu grow in the firm mud along the estuary, and there are two regionally rare carex species.
Middens, observation posts, pa and burial grounds are reminders of early Maori who moved through the area. The estuary is the site of the 1839 Battle of Kuititanga where Te Ati Awa, who had established pa on both sides of the estuary, fought Ngati Raukawa, forcing them to flee to Otaki. The area is sacred to the people of Te Ati Awa ki Whakarongotai who are tangata whenua of this area. In the 1880s the Manawatu Railway opened up the coast to more European settlement. Coastal forest was removed for flax mills and farming, causing erosion. Since then housing, gravel extraction, flood protection, stormwater and industrial discharges have further reduced the power of the river. Since the 1960s, the land around the estuary has been transformed from a coastal wilderness to a densely populated urban area.
Conservationists led by Sir Charles Fleming helped to establish the Waikanae Estuary Scientific Reserve in 1987 to protect the remaining area. In the 1990s, however, subdivisions crept closer to the estuary, increasing the threats to wildlife. The Department of Conservation has embarked on an ecological restoration project for the estuary, complemented by work being done by the Waikanae Estuary Care Group.
Further information is available at www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-visit/wellington-kapiti/kapiti/waikanae-estuary-scientific-reserve
What are the photographic attractions of the estuary?
Club members told us:
- Early morning walks round the lagoons with the dog
- It’s a paradise for birdwatchers, with graceful birds such as the heron and swans
- It’s good to see the black-fronted terns that come up from the South Island
- The lagoons are a beautiful feature, and Kapiti Island always there as a backdrop
- The subtle colours of dawn over the hills, and brilliant sunsets beyond the island
- The patterns of the beach sand create a textured effect stretching into the distance, and the wet beach reflects the sky
- Kapiti Island is often the focal point as we look west in the evening, its shape a familiar silhouette as the sun sinks behind it
- The wetland area is a haven for so many different interesting birds – very special for me
- Shags on driftwood in the river, drying their wings, competing to be king
- Good to see people out and about, walking or cycling, using the tracks and boardwalk, or riding on the beach
- The drama of moving sands in high winds
- The fun people had last summer building and decorating a driftwood structure on the beach at the edge of the estuary, then rebuilding after (several) storms
- The work being done by the Estuary Care Group is amazing – growing seedlings, planting, weeding – it’s good that locals can work with DOC and KCDC on this
- I enjoy exploring the paths and seeing the regenerating native plants – the DOC signboards have interesting information as well as maps of the area
- The changing colours of vegetation and water, over the seasons, at different times of day, and in different weather
- The estuary got even more interesting as I learned more about the area and history.
If you wish to buy any of the pictures (except those shown NFS), please contact the club by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Prices mounted $100.00, unmounted $50.00, plus $10 if delivered. Single images from the pairs are also available, unmounted.
A donation will be made to the Waikanae Estuary Care Group from sales proceeds.
|1||Setting the Hinaki||Adrienne Dale|
|3||Estuary Driftwood||Rhonda Billington|
|4||Summer at the Beach||Alison Viskovic|
|5||Kite Flying||Carol Molineux, Roger Smith|
|6||Doll on the Beach||Neil Gordon|
|7||One Man and his Dog||Martin Manning|
|8||Riding (NFS) and Cycling||Helen Moore, Neil Gordon|
|9||Estuary Walkers||Alison Viskovic|
|10||Estuary Signposts||Gary Moncrieff, Alison Viskovic|
|11||Conservation Work||Alison Viskovic|
|12||Waikanae Estuary Care Group Workers||Alison Viskovic|
|13||Problems: Rubbish and a Rabbit||Neil Gordon, Carol Molineux, Gavin Klee, Scott Stevenson|
|14||Problems: Weeds in the Estuary||Alison Viskovic|
|15||Estuary Vegetation I||Alison Viskovic|
|16||Estuary Vegetation II||Alison Viskovic|
|17||Views from Estuary to Mt Kapakapanui||Colin McKenzie|
|18||Autumn Evening||Alison Viskovic|
|19||Otaihanga Boardwalk||Colin McKenzie|
|20||Waikanae Estuary Wetland||Roger Smith|
|21||An Evening Palette||Hugh Scott|
|22||Orange Sundown||Peter Beddek|
|23||Evening Outflow||Hugh Scott|
|24||Estuarine Colours||Peter Beddek|
|25||Waikanae Estuary Dawn Reflective||Peter Beddek|
|26||Kapiti Dawn||Barry Culling|
|27||Driftwood Haven – A Teenage Installation||Roger Smith|
|28||Morning Light||Gavin Klee|
|29||Beach Flight||Gavin Klee|
|30||Karuhiruhi / Pied Shags||Carol Molineux|
|31||Kotare / Kingfisher||Gavin Klee|
|32||Move Over||Neil Gordon|
|33||Elegant Curves in Motion||Teresa Angell|
|34||Matuku / Bittern||Roger Smith|
|35||Karuhiruhi / Shag with Nesting Material||Carol Molineux|
|36||Poaka / Pied Stilt||Gavin Klee|
|37||Matuku-moana / White-faced Heron||Gavin Klee|
|38||Interactions||Teresa Angell, Gavin Klee|
|39||Torea-Pango / Oystercatcher||Carol Molineux|
|40||Kotuku / Heron||Gavin Klee|
|42||Karuhiruhi / Pied Shag with Fish||Gavin Klee|
|43||Kotuku-nutupapa / Spoonbill Alights||Gavin Klee|
|44||Kotuku-nutupapa / Spoonbill with Flounder||Carol Molineux|
|45||Kuaka / Godwit||Gavin Klee|
|46||Skylark (introduced, no Maori name)||Gavin Klee|
|47||Ngutu-parore / Wrybill||Gavin Klee|
|48||Matata /Fernbird I||Gavin Klee|
|49||Pheasant (introduced, no Maori name)||Roger Smith|
|50||Tuturiwhatu / Banded Dotterel||Gavin Klee|
|51||Oystercatchers Mating and with Young||Teresa Angell, Gavin Klee|
|52||Matata / Fernbird II||Carol Molineux|
|53||Babies: Tara / White-fronted Tern, Torea-Pango, Tuturiwhatu||Carol Molineux, Gavin Klee|
|54||Estuary Plants||Carol Molineux, Adrienne Dale, Hugh Scott|
|55||Estuary Creatures||Carol Molineux|
|56||Web and Spider||Scott Stevenson, Carol Molineux|
|57||Wind Dance||Hal Gimpelson|