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Everyone gets involved during winter planting of urban streams

Monday 21 August , 2023

Teams have been getting stuck into the mahi over the last few weeks of fine weather with winter planting well underway around the city.

The banks of Waikirikiri Stream are now planted with natives after a concerted effort by Haumanu Tū Ora, a Freshwater Improvement Fund (FIF) project between Gisborne District Council and urban hapu including Ngati Oneone.

The stream runs through Waikirikiri Park, so neighbouring kura/schools were invited to come along and take part as well.

Council Haumanu Tū Ora Kaimahi Jess Terekia says these native plants will help revitalise and rehabilitate the mauri and ora of the stream and its habitat to its healthy freshwater nature.

“The hapu aspirations of this site have been shared with this project team with the hopes of seeing our native bird life return to this area of Kaiti, which used to be swamp land, and reconnecting them with the Waimata awa.

“Local kura / schools, Kindergarten and Kōhanga Reo were invited to plant along the stream to participate in this important work with the hopes these tamariki feel pride and kaitiakitanga for the very trees they’ve planted. Once upon a time this was a beloved stream, and although some people refer to this as a drain, we are hoping to educate people of the importance of this awa so it can be loved and respected again.”

The team has also been at Campion College this week with more riparian planting along the banks of the Taruheru River.

These are just two of many projects with the FIF with the goal to restore the mauri and ora of the Turanganui Estuary system.

Other projects include riparian planting, wetland restoration, the removal of fish passage barriers and enhancing fish spawning sites.

The total project cost is $4,950,000 of which the Ministry for the Environment is funding $2,250,000. Council will contribute $2,700,000 through existing budgets.

It’s been running from January 2022 and will continue until the end of June 2026.

Once completed, this project will improve the health of the Tūranganui Estuary System and rivers and streams which flow into it (such as the Waikanae Stream, Taruheru River, and lower Waimatā River).

Ms Terekia says special mention needs to be made of all the supporters who make these events happen:

Te Kura Reo Rua o Waikirikiri – Waikirikiri Bilingual School

Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Horouta Wānanga (Tauira and staff groups)

Pickering Street Kindergarten

Te Whakaruruhau Kōhanga Reo

ASAP Property Maintenance and Hire (Portable toilets donated during the 3 days)

Roberts Tree Surgeons(Provided the mulch for planting)

The Warehouse (Source of the cardboard)

Whaia Titirangi Restoration Group

Rongowhakaata Iwi Trust Taiao Group

Enviroschools staff (Kauri and Bridget)

Planintg Waikirikiri Stream 2023

Waikirikiri Stream being planted 2023

Council Haumanu Tū Ora Kaimahi Jess Terekia (above left) planting alongside Waikirikiri Stream with local students supporting her. It’s part of a project to restore the mauri and ora of our urban waterways.