In celebration of World Rivers Day last week, Horizons Regional Council staff were out planting 1500 native plants along Hokio Stream.
The planting project is part of the Te Manawa o Te Wai project led by Lake Horowhenua Trustees.
Horizons Regional Council chief executive Michael McCartney said the planting aligned to its core business of environmental management.
"There is no better cause than to get our hands dirty and do some real work," he said.
"It will be a real asset to the community in the long term. We are doing our little bit really."
It comes on the back of recent controversy for Horizons Regional Council taken to court by Environmental Defence Society and Fish and Game for not having a strong enough stance on farm runoff into waterways.
The court said Horizons had not been doing enough to keep streams and rivers clean, and that economic consequences were not a reason to "manipulate or pervert plan implementation".
However, Horizons released a statement afterwards saying they were investigating partial One Plan change options to do just that, while reassuring farmers it did not want to bankrupt businesses if they couldn't meet the One Plan standards.
Horizons chair Bruce Gordon said if farmers had to meet the current nitrogen leaching numbers in the One Plan a significant number of businesses would no longer be viable.
"Council is responsible to its community and I want to reassure farmers that while our intention is to improve water quality, we are unified in not wanting to bankrupt multiple businesses.
As a result, the strategy and policy committee has recommended council instructs officers to prepare options for a change to the One Plan's policies and rules around intensive agriculture," said Mr Gordon.
"Ultimately, our commitment is to the environmental, economic and social wellbeing of the region as we move forward."
Environmental Defence Society chairman Gary Taylor said if Horizons makes a partial One Plan change it would need to further investigate if reaching the current nitrogen leaching levels was in fact unattainable for farmers. He said what Horizons was proposing to do was keep the target of improvement the same but adjust the starting point, enabling more nitrogen runoff than currently is the case.
"A plan change that focuses on recalibrating the start point looks like a pragmatic approach to what is quite a complex issue, a problem really of the council's own making," he said. "In the process of that plan change there can be a proper examination of the economic impacts of that change."
Mr Taylor said when the One Plan was created there was comprehensive work done on the economic impacts of the plan on farms that the court deemed acceptable.
"However we have said to the council it would be good to get a peer review done of the economic modelling to properly understand with confidence what those economic impacts are," he said.
"The big picture point here is that from an EDS perspective and I suspect from a Fish and Game perspective, [the important thing is] actually having a trajectory of improving water quality by limiting nutrient run off over time that we are looking for."
He said that this year's election campaign highlighted that they were not alone in wanting improvement in freshwater quality.
"The environment was a bigger issue overall, more than I've seen in any previous elections."