A new nursery in Levin will supply thousands of native plants for the revegetation of Lake Horowhenua and other waterways within Horowhenua.
The initiative is one of several being pursued by the Lake Trust as part of the Lake Horowhenua restoration programme under the Lake Accord. Lake Horowhenua Trust chair Matt Sword said the nursery can house up to 80,000 native plants, which will enable Muaupoko to restore some of the vegetation historically removed by settlers.
"They will also provide a riparian barrier to stop stock from wondering into waterways and causing pollution," he said.
"We anticipate that the nursery will thrive and provide a foundation from which to launch education and training opportunities for our rangatahi, and also jobs for whanau.
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"The nursery is one of several ways that the Lake Trustees are able to develop our own capability among owners, and Muaupoko to actively care for the health of our tupuna."
Mr Sword also said that through the development of horticulture expertise, the nursery would be able to support large-scale production and supply other catchments across the country, councils and other significant projects.
"By having a nursery established with room to expand, we now also have the opportunity to participate in and lead significant breeding and selection programmes for both revegetation and plant-based commercial markets," he said.
The nursery was built with funding from the Ministry for the Environment and made possible with the support of the Lake Accord partners.
"For example, the location of the nursery at the former Kohitere School site on CD Farm road is held by the Department of Conservation, as well as in-kind contributions from Horizons Regional Council and Horowhenua District Council," he said.
"Acknowledgments also go to Gerald Garner, our incredibly skilled nursery manager who brings over 30 years' experience and his passion for this project. Gerald is keen to transfer his knowledge through a succession plan to continue building that capability among Muaupoko."