The upper reaches of the Manawatu River are the only place in this region where the dwarf galaxids can be found. Lucy Ferguson, Horizons Regional Council
Norsewood's Maddison Milne-Jones may just be 8 but she knows the importance of mucking in to clean up one of New Zealand's unique rivers.
Maddison joined more than 50 other volunteers planting 1500 natives trees and flaxes at the headwaters of the Manawatu River last Saturday.
After a Powhiri at the Raukautatahi Marae, volunteers travelled to the end of the Manawatu River Rd for a day of planting.
Norsewood's Kathryn Mulinder said: "The weather was perfect and it was an energetic and dedicated Maddison who, along with the others, worked hard throughout the day on this important initiative to assist in the cleanup of one of the most unique rivers in the world, our Manawatu."
The community planting day will help improve water quality at the source of the Manawatu River in the foothills of the Ruahine Ranges, Lucy Ferguson, Horizons Regional Council's freshwater co-ordinator said.
"The upper reaches of the Manawatu River are the only place in this region where the dwarf galaxids can be found and planting the river banks will help protect their environment.
"The dwarf galaxids are reasonably threatened and are a significant environment indicator species."
The plantings will help to provide shade for the fish while lowering levels of nutrients, e coli and sediment in the river. The planting day was part of a significant project under the Manawatu River Leaders' Accord. Volunteers came from around the region and beyond.
Fencing and planting at the source of the Manawatu is a joint project between landowners, iwi and councils.