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Published: 2001-06-19 00:00:00

Environment Waikato, several other agencies, iwi and community groups are getting together this Friday to plant native plants on the banks of the Lower Waikato River.

They are members of the Lower Waikato River Enhancement Group and the work is part of an on-going project which began two years ago. The aim is to restore thousands of plants along the river banks, creating wildlife habitat, reducing erosion and improving the look of the banks.

Groups involved include Affco, Fish and Game, Genesis Power, Nga Muka Development Trust, Mighty River Power, North Waikato Federated Farmers, Department of Conservation, New Zealand Landcare Trust, Tainui, Waahi Whaanui Trust and Waikato District Council.

This season more than 14,000 natives will be planted at Meremere and Horahora, and Hopuhopu Regional Park employees will be helping with the work next week. Last winter flaxes, manuka, cabbage trees and kahikatea were planted around a wetland area administered by Environment Waikato near Rangiriri.

Later this year the group will become an incorporated society to raise its profile and ensure they achieve their long term vision of creating a healthy Lower Waikato riparian habitat.