Hutt at Heart
St Ronan's Picnic Area Mosaic at the Waiwhetu Stream.

New mosaic celebrates wildlife at Waiwhetū Stream

Visiting Waiwhetū Stream is a different experience than what it was a few years ago. Once considered the most toxic stream in New Zealand, it’s now home to wildlife thanks to the work of Friends of Waiwhetū Stream. To celebrate, Hutt City Council commissioned Rachel Silver to create a mosaic of the new life in the Stream.

“I created this mural to celebrate, by way of visual representation, the wonderful surrounding flora and fauna which has reappeared since Waiwhetū stream has been revitalised” said Rachel Silver.

Artist Rachel Silver leans against the new mural
Artist Rachel Silver

Rachel used her experiences of the new stream locals to help create the piece.

“I watched a Kawau (Black Shag), I named Shaggy, most days sun himself with his wings spanned, and a beautiful grey Kōtuku (Heron), I named Harry, sit at the river’s edge for hours waiting to catch Inanga swimming upstream.

“You can see these two birds in the mosaic as well as other local fresh water creatures including Kokopu, Mudfish and Long Finned Eels. I also chose to include the endangered Copper Skink and Stag Beetle and a couple of native Pepeketua (frogs) that haven’t changed much in 70 million years”.

Shaggy the Shag and Harry the Heron immortalized in the mural
Shaggy the Shag and Harry the Heron

The unveiling happened during the annual walkover, attended by the Greater Wellington Regional Council, Hutt City Council, Wellington Water, and volunteers from Friends of Waiwhetū Stream.

Greater Wellington Regional Council, Hutt City Council, Wellington Water, and volunteers from Friends of Waiwhetū Stream

The event highlighted the incredible effort of Friends of Waiwhetū Stream and Naenae Nature Trust, including last year’s plantings’ and the installation of weirs along the Naenae concrete channel.

The four rock weirs work to slow/deepen the stream and provide a healthy habitat for fish, eels and invertebrates.
The four rock weirs work to slow/deepen the stream and provide a healthy habitat for fish, eels and invertebrates.

If you would like to help with the restorative work on the Waiwhetū Stream, join one of these groups:

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