View interactive

Community takes on restoration

By Anne-Marie McDonald

Add a comment
Clare Ridler from Horizons Regional Council and student Te Maramatanga Ponga, 9, plant native species at the Awarua Stream. PHOTO/BEVAN CONLEY
Clare Ridler from Horizons Regional Council and student Te Maramatanga Ponga, 9, plant native species at the Awarua Stream. PHOTO/BEVAN CONLEY

The local community is coming together to help restore the Awarua Stream.

The stream, which runs under SH3 and Airport Rd and into the Whanganui River, has been the victim of poor agricultural practices for years. But that is changing with a collaboration of landowners, iwi, Wanganui District Council and Horizons Regional Council.

On Monday staff from the two councils, along with landowners, iwi members and students from Te Kura O Kaupapa Maori O Te Atihaunui-A-Paparangi, planted native plants along the stream's banks.

District council engineer Kritzo Venter, one of the leaders of the Healthy Streams programme, said the Awarua Stream had lost vegetation and had had stock grazing along its banks.

"The entire stream has lost its shape," he said. Eels and whitebait still live in the stream but in decreasing numbers as the environment was no longer conducive to them.

Local iwi received funding to begin fencing off the stream and restoring it.

"That's the start of a wider concept where all stakeholders take responsibility and work together. We want not just an adequate stream but an ideal stream," Mr Venter said.

A spin-off from the students helping was the opportunity to teach them the importance of streams such as the Awarua.

Claire Ridler from Horizons said the students were planting flax, hebe, and a variety of other native species.

"We want to shade the stream to provide eddys, so fish have shelter to rest in," she said. The plants were grown by inmates at Whanganui Prison and were donated to Horizons.

- WANGANUI CHRONICLE

Have your say

We aim to have healthy debate. But we won't publish comments that abuse others. View commenting guidelines.

1200 characters left

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a5 at 21 Sep 2014 20:34:51 Processing Time: 1021ms