Whanganui District Council (WDC) is working with Horizons Regional Council (HRC) and local groups on the continued enhancement of Awarua Stream in Putiki.

The stream flows from farmland between No. 2 Line and State Highway 3, then under SH3 and Airport Rd and into the Whanganui River near Corliss Island.

Starting this week, overgrown willow trees will be removed from the lower reaches of the stream.

Following that, local school children will assist with planting the banks of the stream with flax and pittosporum.


Whanganui District Council senior stormwater engineer Kritzo Venter said Awarua Stream is a whitebait and eel fishery with a high level of cultural importance.

"We've met with local landowners to discuss the work and they've been really engaged and supportive," Venter said.

"Stream improvements are beneficial for landowners because they stabilise the land, controlling erosion and helping prevent flooding."

The layout of the new vegetation has been planned to take local white-baiting and eeling locations into consideration.

The work will enhance the stream by clearing obstructions, improving the stream's capacity and creating aquatic habitat.

The enhancements will be carried out until the end of October and will include upgrading the Awarua Stream culvert at Wikitoria Rd.

This work follows on from earlier stream improvements which began in 2013.

These included riparian planting, fencing the margins of the stream to protect it from stock and constructing fish passages by lowering culverts.


Rocks were also added to the water flow, enabling fish to swim to breeding areas.

Further Awarua Stream enhancement work is in the pipeline for the next three years, including vegetation control, riparian planting and maintenance of existing contours.

The work on Awarua Stream is partly funded by the Whanganui River Enhancement Trust and is part of the healthy streams initiative.

The initiative is a community project led by WDC in partnership with local Iwi, HRC, government departments, charitable trusts, commercial businesses and landowners. The aim is to keep waterways in the district healthy and functioning well.