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Creating connections by restoring urban waterways

Tuesday 12 July, 2022

Waiteata Park has 500 native trees growing by the banks of the stream that runs through it after a community planting day last week.

Students from Central School, Mangapapa Kindy and Central Playcentre joined their teachers and whānau so the whole community could feel connected with the work being done.

The planting was also supported by Enviroschools, Mahaki Mahinga Kai and Roberts Trees Surgeons.

Eastland Port donated some of the mulch for the project, to ensure the natives a good start to life, and Tairāwhiti Environment Centre brought the wheelbarrows, tools and gloves.

Council Strategy and Science senior programme manager Graeme Card says it was a great community effort and all part of the $4.95 million project called Restoring the Mauri and Ora of the Tūranganui Estuary System.

The Ministry for the Environment has contributed $2.25m towards the project and Council will contribute the balance through existing budgets.

Dr Card says it’s the first of five sites due to be planted this winter around Gisborne that will transform our urban waterways.

“More community planting days will be held to connect each community with the improvements being made.

“Other sites around our city benefiting from the funding include the Taruheru, Waikanae and Waimata awa, as well as a number of other sites that will be planned in partnership with mana whenua.

“By the end of the project in June 2026, around 170,000 native plants would have been used in wetland and riparian planting. This means erosion-prone areas will be stabilised and new wetlands will absorb stormwater contaminants before they get into our Taruheru, Waikanae and Waimata waterways.

“The project will also remove pest plants and animals, barriers to fish passage and improve fish spawning habitats.”

If you’re interested in hearing about further community planting days please contact Dr Graeme Card on graeme.card@gdc.govt.nzToru from Mahaki Mahinga

Toru from Mahaki Mahinga Kai took part in the community planting days at Waiteata Park. The riparian planting helps remove sediment before it gets into our waterways and is also for erosion control.

Waiteata Park planting days July 2022

Zoes Thorpe, Florence Edwards, Leo Bunyan

Central School Year 1 students Florence Edwards and Leo Bunyan help plant some of the first trees to go in the ground as part of a $4.95 million project called Restoring the Mauri and Ora of the Tūranganui Estuary System. These native trees are now on the banks of the stream in Waiteata Park where they will help remove sediment from the water and provide stability to the bank. Florence’s mum Zoe Thorpe was whānau help at the planting day for Central School students.