Crossland, A. (2005). A national biodiversity hot-spot from the treatment of urban wastewater: The Bromley Oxidation Ponds and Te Huingi Manu Wildlife Refuge, Christchurch. Christchurch City Council.
In pre-European times, the extensive wetlands of Ōtautahi Christchurch supported tens of thousands of resident and migratory wetland birds during breeding, moulting, wintering, and migration periods. Although over 90% of Ōtautahi wetlands were destroyed during the development of the city and surrounding agricultural lands, wetland birds have proven to be highly resilient, with over 45 species utilising human-created habitats. An example of a human-created wetland habitat is the Te Huingi Manu Wildlife Refuge, which consists of the Bromley Oxidation Ponds and surrounding pastureland.
Te Huingi Manu Wildlife Refuge is located adjacent to the western estuary shoreline and managed by the Christchurch City Council (CCC). The primary function of the oxidation ponds is to treat wastewater from Christchurch city, however, they have a secondary function of providing breeding, feeding and roosting opportunities for wetland birds. Overall, this paper concluded that the site was a major hotspot for avian biodiversity and one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most important sites for waterfowl. It supported over 5000 New Zealand scaup (15–20% of the world population), 7000 Australasian shovelers, 4000 grey teal, 2500 paradise shelducks, 2500 Canada geese, and 1000 black swans which moulted or wintered at the site.
Consequently, the paper concluded that successful long-term management of Te Huingi Manu Wildlife Refuge would require an integrated approach which fully understands the habitat and seasonal requirements of birds and balances them with human wastewater treatment and recreation requirements.