At home in our vanishing wetlands – Farah Hancock, Newsroom

Day-old kaki chick at DOC captive breeding centre, Twizel Photo: Liz Brown, DoC

Being the rarest wading bird in the world isn’t really something to be proud of. When you are down to your last 23 birds it’s pretty clear that a serious intervention is needed. Kakī (black stilts) have been intensively managed since 1981 when their population declined to that “practically extinct” level. A captive breeding centre was set up near Twizel in the Mackenzie Basin to protect remaining birds from predators and boost breeding success.

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Controversial Mackenzie farm gets pivotal consent – David Williams, Newsroom

Pivot irrigators can be turned on at the country’s highest-profile dairy conversion.           In the end it came down to grass, council inaction, and an extraordinary notion of fairness. A consent has been granted by an independent commissioner allowing water to flow through six pivot irrigators at Mackenzie Basin’s Simons Pass Station, south of Lake Pūkaki.

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As democracy returns, a river of unease still flows – David Williams, Newsroom

The cairn was erected on a bitterly cold June day in 2010, a few months after the John Key-led Government sacked Environment Canterbury councillors, replacing them with appointed commissioners. Ostensibly the regional councillors were dismissed for mismanagement, but it was widely seen as a water grab – a chance for the Government to take control and promote irrigation schemes.

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