Monday 25 July, 2022
One thousand native trees have been planted on the riverbanks by Rere Rockslide after another great community effort in our region.
Students from Ngatapa School and Rere School mucked in beside Council staff to plant the natives, which were donated by Trees That Count – a New Zealand group that connects tree funders with the planters.
The riparian planting is part of the Wharekopae River Restoration Project to improve water quality and is part of a wider series of education workshops.
The Wharekopae Project involves local farmers, Council and Ministry for the Environment (MfE).
Council Director Liveable Communities Michele Frey says a love for the river, and being able to swim safely in the river, are key motivations for everyone who is engaged in this project.
The Wharekopae River is 30km in length and has a catchment size of 32,000 hectares, involving 40 hill country sheep and beef farms.
The river is accessible for swimming for most of its length and is the highest use freshwater swimming river in the region and an important habitat for Long Fin Eel, Trout and Blue Duck.
By the time summer comes around, this riparian planting will already be doing its job to protect the banks from erosion and soak up sediment before it gets into the river.
The Rere Rockslide with its 60m natural slope of rock is one of our most popular tourism destinations in Tairāwhiti.
“Protecting the water quality and land around it is paramount for our region’s future”, says Ms Frey.