Before works began, ecologists were brought in to capture lizards, with 19 species found and relocated to a temporary home onsite at the quarry, out of harm’s way during construction. Around 200 tonnes of rock was used to construct a new boulder field habitat for the lizards.
Several branches of streams have also been defished with 250 eels – mainly long-fin, relocated to suitable habitats downstream within the catchment area.
Water was then diverted through a series of temporary pipes, allowing new streams to be built. Four new streambeds - totalling roughly 700m in length, provide a number of new habitats for different fish species.
Planting native trees and shrubs
This planting season, an impressive 26,700 native trees and shrubs have been planted across eight different areas of the quarry, including a new area of Kanuka forest, and the newly constructed streambeds and wetland area.
Suitable native trees and shrubs have been planted for the lizard habitat, as well as to create a screening area, providing a natural shelter between the quarry and the lower access track.
To protect the environment further, the site has two large sediment retention ponds. These ponds capture water runoff, which is stored, and an approved ‘flocculant’ product is added to help the sediment settle out of the water.
Before water is released back into surrounding waterways, it is tested to make sure that it meets environmental compliance, which is set by Greater Wellington Regional Council.
Once the new motorway is open, the quarry will close. The quarry and its surrounding environment will then be handed back to the landowner, who will have a significantly enhanced environmental asset for the future.