River plant­ing pro­tects en­vi­ron­mentent

Vol­un­teers plant 1000 flax and na­tives with the aim of im­prov­ing water qual­ity and pro­vid­ing shade

Hawke's Bay Today - - LOCAL NEWS - Christine McKay christine.mckay@dvke­news.co.nz

This is great be­cause this means we are fu­ture­proof­ing our re­gion. Arapera Pae­wai, project co-or­di­na­tor

At its source in the foothills of the Ruahine Ranges, be­hind Norse­wood, the Manawatu¯ River is just a trickle, but it plays a huge part in the en­vi­ron­men­tal and eco­log­i­cal makeup of our district.

In 2013, 50 vol­un­teers planted 1500 na­tive trees and flax at the head­wa­ters of the river, fol­lowed by an­other 4200, help­ing to clean up one of the most unique rivers in the world. The plant­ings are im­prov­ing water qual­ity and pro­vid­ing shade and low­er­ing lev­els of nu­tri­ents, E. coli and sed­i­ment in the river which is the habi­tat for the dwarf galaxia, small na­tive fish known as ko¯kopu by lo­cal Ma¯ori. This is the only place in the re­gion they can be found.

On Sun­day, Ran­gi­tane o Ta­maki nui a Rua hosted a plant­ing day, with 1000 flax and na­tives fill­ing in the gaps from the orig­i­nal plant­ing day in 2013.

“We’re plant­ing everything from flaxes, to cab­bage trees and lace­barks, any­thing which suits the area,” Arapera Pae­wai, project co-or­di­na­tor for the Tu Te Manawa project, said.

“This is great be­cause this means we are fu­ture-proof­ing our re­gion. This is a good start for our en­vi­ron­ment, with the flaxes set­ting up the eco-system for everything else and the na­tives pro­vid­ing a good en­vi­ron­ment for birds and in­sects.”

On Satur­day, 25 peo­ple turned up in beau­ti­ful weather for a plant­ing day on Bluff Rd in Woodville.

“It was a fab­u­lous day, with lots of young peo­ple from Woodville pitch­ing in,” Arapera said.

“So many peo­ple made quick work of the job.”

The first stages of a whare are un­der way at the head­wa­ters of the Manawatu¯ River and will pro­vide cul­tural and com­mu­nity in­for­ma­tion about the river and Norse­wood.

“We will also be car­ry­ing out water mon­i­tor­ing at this site,” Arapera said.

One Norse­wood cou­ple ded­i­cated to our en­vi­ron­ment are Gavin and Kathryn Mulin­der. Gavin is a keen fish­er­man. “We’re try­ing to do some­thing for the river and as a fish­er­man I know we’ve got to look af­ter our en­vi­ron­ment,” he said.

“Peo­ple say, ‘oh, it will be all right’, but it won’t if we don’t do our bit.”

Kathryn said it was awe­some be­ing part of this im­por­tant restora­tion project.

“I call it our plant­ner­ship,” she said.

“This is how we spend our days. We used to go canoodling, but now we plant trees.”

While Gavin dug the holes, Kathryn planted and “re­leased” ear­lier planted spec­i­mens from the veg­e­ta­tion which had been pro­tect­ing them.

“You can hear them breath­ing,” she said.

Arapera said the 5-year-old plants needed to be set free now and will quickly triple in size.

The plant­ings are part of the Manawatu¯ River Leader’s Ac­cord and the restora­tion project is a joint pro­gramme be­tween landown­ers, hapu¯, iwi, Tararua District Coun­cil, Hori­zons Re­gional Coun­cil and the Min­istry for the En­vi­ron­ment.

Arapera Pae­wai, project co-or­di­na­tor for the Tu Te Manawa project, at the source of the Manawatu¯ River be­hind Norse­wood on Sun­day morn­ing for the lat­est plant­ing ef­forts.

Photos / Christine McKay

Brigham Kingi, ad­min­is­tra­tor for the project, with some of the 1000 plants which were planted at the source of the Manawatu¯ River on Sun­day.

Norse­wood cou­ple Gavin and Kathryn Mulin­der have helped plant the banks of the Manawatu¯ River at its source since the first project in 2013.

Norse­wood’s Kathryn Mulin­der busy “re­leas­ing” ex­ist­ing plant­ings from their sur­round­ing veg­e­ta­tion which had pro­tected them when first planted.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.