A study that could determine the fate of Warkworth’s historic weir is scheduled to start in early July.
The weir on the Mahurangi River, close to the Bridgehouse Bar and Restaurant, sparked a fiery debate in Warkworth’s Town Hall in February after it emerged that Auckland Council planned to remove it in an effort to save fish species.
Council claimed that inanga – a species of whitebait – were unable to scramble over the weir to journey upstream to spawn.
But the prospect of the weir’s removal angered some locals who value the weir for historical and aesthetic reasons and maintain it poses little threat to whitebait.
Following the debate, Auckland Council vowed to complete a technical study of the weir to provide “a factual basis for further discussion”.
Council advisor for fresh water biodiversity Matt Bloxham says the study will be undertaken by NIWA scientists in Hamilton.
Mr Bloxham says the study will look at what the likely impact will be of losing or retaining the weir from an ecological perspective.
“In the meantime, the weir stays. We are not going to jump in there and knock the weir over,” he says.