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Hikurangi Floodplain planting

 
This page contains a news story about new planting on the Hikurangi Floodplain.
Updated: 20/12/2019 11:09 a.m.

​Fallen soldiers have been remembered during work to restore wetlands on the Hikurangi Swamp.

Ecology North have been planning and project managing the planting across the Hikurangi Floodplain for Whangarei District Council Waste and Drainage and for the Living Water Department of Conservation and Fonterra collaboration. 

Picture showing the course of the Wairua River and the location of the new planting.

More than 100,000 native plants have been planted on the Hikurangi Floodplain since planting started in 2016.

The trees were planted on the second largest remaining area of indigenous wetland habitat on the Hikurangi Floodplain.  The land is between Matarau and Jordan Valley Roads and is accessed along a raised flood stop bank. Owned by Council, it is beside the Department of Conservation administered Wairua River Government Purpose Wildlife Management Reserve (in partnership with Ngati Hau Hapu and Northland Fish and Game).

This year’s work included 10,000 manuka and kanuka plants and 800 heart-level kohuhu (Pittosporum obcordatum), a nationally threatened tree species. The plants came from Akerama Marae plant nursery. They were paid for by Matariki Tu Rakau - part of the Billion Trees funding project.

It was a requirement for this funding that a proportion of the planting be done by a community group and that a plaque be erected to commemorate fallen soldiers.  Forward Whangarei engaged people from Victory House to plant 500 trees and the rest of the planting was done by a planting crew from the Ngati Hau Resource Management Unit (funded by Council). 

The Victory House group and a delicious vegan, no waste lunch were organised by Forward Whangarei.

Ecologist David Wright said the manuka and kanuka will provide an early forest shrubland cover to stabilise the soils, creating a buffer between nutrients and other land-based pollutants, and providing a habitat for birds and insects.

They would also provide cover for floodplain forest trees like a kahikatea to establish. The kohuhu will create a larger spread of this threatened plant, potentially creating the largest single population in the country.

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