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Published: 2013-09-09 00:00:00

Issued on behalf of Waikato RiverCare
A major native tree and shrub planting project has just been completed at Huntly, with more than a kilometre of Waikato River bank planted, thanks to $60,000 of funding assistance from the Waikato River Authority (WRA).

The Raahui Pookeka A project – carried out between 2 and 6 September and involving the planting of more than 11,000 trees and shrubs – is the biggest ever undertaken by riparian restoration charity Waikato RiverCare. Waikato Regional Council has provided support to the project.

“The health of the river and the local Huntly community will reap significant benefits from this work, with planting covering an area 1100 metres by 14 metres,” said Waikato RiverCare’s operations manager Kevin Hutchinson.

Contractors completed planting 11,400 trees and shrubs on 6 September at the site which is located between the southern boundary of Huntly township as you drive on State Highway 1 and the Waikato District Council water treatment plant on Jackson Road.

This planting will help keep stock out of the river, reduce erosion and contaminants as well as provide the public with a recreational asset.

The lower Waikato River is a key area of concern for the Waikato River Authority when it comes to protecting and restoring the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River.

“We’re very grateful to the WRA for recognising the value of the project and providing us with the funding we need to get the job done,” said Mr Hutchinson.

The planting brings the amount of river bank fenced and planted by Waikato RiverCare over the past 12 years to16 kilometres.

“Over the next 10 years Waikato RiverCare is hoping to plant another 30 sites from near the Te Rapa dairy factory to just downstream of the Tuakau bridge,” said Mr Hutchinson.