Local farmers are doing their bit for the environment.

The newly developed Hohepa wetland at Poraiti, Napier, has received a $5000 grant from the Fonterra Grass Roots Fund for native tree planting.

"The Fonterra Grass Roots environmental fund is part of the company's nation-wide effort to improve water quality and protect biodiversity", Fonterra area manager, Tony Haslett said.

He accompanied a group of Hawke's Bay Fonterra suppliers on a recent visit to the Hohepa wetland.

Advertisement

The Hohepa wetland project fits perfectly with the company's goal to ensure waterways protection and restoration of habitat.

Fonterra has a goal to support the development of more than 2 million square metres of new wetland and waterways protection.

Our farmer suppliers in Hawke's Bay are very active in fencing their properties and planting riparian areas to prevent waterways contamination.

As land owners, we fully accept the need to ensure a clean and green supply-chain, Hawke's Bay Fonterra shareholders councillor, Andrew Hardie said.

"We are part of the community and, as well as environmental protection work on our own properties, we are willing to put the money up for projects like the Hohepa wetland", Mr Hardie said.

Hohepa wetland project manager, Neil Kirton said support from Fonterra would help limit nitrogen run-off from Hohepa farming operations getting into the waterways.

The wetland development at Poraiti is a joint venture with the adjoining landowners, the Napier City Council and the Hawke's Bay Regional Council.

Fonterra Grass Roots funding has enabled us to plant out the wetland in eco-sourced native plants produced by Hohepa residents at our nursery at Haumoana. The aim is to develop the site into a public recreation area and picnic spot, Mr Kirton said.

The Ahuriri Estuary is probably the most significant wetlands in the whole eastern coast of the North Island.

Protecting the endangered bird and fish species living in the estuary ought to be a high regional priority for the whole community", Mr Kirton said.