More than 40 volunteers turned out for a community planting day along the banks of Kerikeri's Wairoa Stream on June 23, the start of a grand plan by Living Waters Bay of Islands to restore all 12km of waterway from Mt Pokaka to Kororipo Pa near the Stone Store. The volunteers took just two hours to plant 1800 trees and shrubs along 500m of stream either side of the Cobham Rd bridge. The 55 species planted include kowhai, kauri, kawakawa, five-finger, cabbage trees, kohekohe, rewarewa and titoki, with flaxes and ferns along the flood-prone stream edges. Rod Brown, of Vision Kerikeri, said next year the volunteers would clear weeds and re-plant another 350m where the stream skirted the Mill Lane industrial area. Sympathetic landowners had already planted more than 1km of stream banks further upstream. The hope was to eventually restore the entire stream and create a 12km-long wildlife corridor. Ngati Rehia kaumatua Te Huranga Hohaia said 200 years ago the stream was a pathway between the fertile kumara-growing areas inland at Waimate and Kororipo Pa, which served as a ''bus stop'' for warriors preparing for battle. The seedlings were grown by the Shadehouse volunteers and Kerikeri Plant Production. The planting day also featured live music, kai and coffee.
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