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Land Suitability Project

The Wairoa District Council is collaborating with Landcare Research and the University of Waikato to undertake a land suitability project by hosting a Master of Science student to undertake research.

Masters students, Jonno Rau, will research land suitability throughout the district and investigate opportunities for a range of crops that have potential for development, with the ultimate outcome to increase employment and income to the district.

Mr Rau says that he’s really enjoying his time here in Wairoa.

“I’m really pleased that I’ve been able to secure an internship with Landcare Research and it’s pretty cool that I’m able to do my field research here in Wairoa.”

“For my field research, I will be analysing soil and land use capabilities throughout the district and developing crop suitability maps for areas in the Wairoa district, which have high or capable horticultural potential.”

“I’m really keen to talk to any relevant landowners, specifically in the Nuhaka, Wairoa township, Frasertown, Tiniroto areas, the Waiau and Mohaka river valleys and the coastal flats.”

“My field research will involve placing small data loggers around the district, measuring temperature and taking soil samples. It’s unobtrusive and you won’t even know I’m around and will cause little to no disruption.”

Mr Rau will be supervised by Wairoa District Council Engineering Manager, Jamie Cox.

“There is so much untapped potential for land use here in Wairoa. We’ve already done quite a bit of work and this research will add to our understanding of what crops are most suitable for our district.”

“I’m really keen for Jonno to connect with landowners in the district, to look at what opportunities there are for using land here.”

“We are building on our economic development activities here in the district and this is one additional project which will contribute to that effort”, says Mr Cox.

University of Waikato lecturer, Dr Megan Balks is the academic supervisor for the project and is excited to be working with Jonno and the Wairoa District Council in the wonderful east coast country.

“I hope Jonno's project can make an important contribution to land use and development in the Wairoa District”, she says.

Dr Balk’s is currently the Vice President of the New Zealand Society of Soil Science and has recently completed two terms on the Board of the QEII National Trust.

Ends

For more information:

Kitea Tipuna
Communications Strategist
Wairoa District Council
(06) 838 7309

28 February 2017

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