Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter
Send news

News tags

mental health  physical activity  earthquake  vacancies  families  public health  children  funding  poverty  health determinants  social  Community development  planning  employment  healthy cities  volunteers  newsletter  youth  volunteering  nutrition  employment opportunity  housing  alcohol and drugs  maori  community engagement  rebuilding  wellbeing  disabilities  Lectures  counselling  Training  earthquake recovery  sustainability  event  community gardens  Community  seminar  Awards  stress  Community Groups  mens health  research  arts  smokefree  culture  men  exercise  migrants  community event  education  environment  resilience  human rights  health  medical  business  sport  conferences  survey  mental wellbeing  Courses  obesity  elderly  support group  environmental health  healthy food  health promotion  violence  pacific health  resources  rebuild  women  race relations  meeting  gardens  workshop  services  leadership  forum  water  disabled  repair  transport  prevention  pacific  dance  fundraising  asian health  sexual health  inequality  cancer  support  disasters  development  mindfulness  dementia  presentation  collaboration  health in all policies  data analysis  recovery  smoking  law  drugs and alcohol  technology  safety  cycling  Sleep  policy  parenting  media  hearing  walking  land  neighbours  social justice  qualification  resilient cities  information  community connection  consultation  oral health  bullying  depression  youth empowerment  young people  activities  non-profit  charity  harm  NURSES  addiction  disease  Communication  alcohol  symposium  submission  anxiety  accessibility  Relationships  eating  economics  Advocacy  eLearning  falls  parking  energy  efficiency  heating  insulation  advice  Eating Disorders  abuse  waste  Matariki  webinar  diabetes  workplace  Film  Climate Change  solutions  urban  management  economy  plan  restoration  Report  Vulnerability  welfare  parks  learning  awareness  emergencies  legislation  injury prevention  reading  Meeting Room  conservation  language  refugees  recreation  built environment  data  venue  urban design  Food  older people  finances  suicide  heritage  gender  recycling  breastfeeding  public  identity  Nursing  submissions  Rainbow  biodiversity  campaign  promotion  Gut Health  diversity  therapy  older adults  sexuality  computing  pollution  School Holidays  Arts Therapy  providers  gambling  Maori health  Cervical cancer  screening  trauma  autism  Governance  treaty of waitangi  care  mentoring  pets  relaxation  Professional Development  pornography  exhibition  history  discrimination  vaping  equity  lockdown  grief  rural  hygiene  participation  tourism  summer  intervention  warning  podcast  science  petition  swimming  roadworks  traffic  wildlife  beaches  pools  immunisation  vaccination  brain  preparation  open day  market  evaluation  noise  music  property  testing  crafts  CALD  cultural diversity  camping  creativity  child health  tamariki  climate action  refugee  migrant  community events  road safety  library  Hornby  skills  placemaking  regenerative communities  journey  reflection  regional council  councillors  water management  emergency management  retirement  stress management  Christmas  family  festival  alcohol harm  waterways  planting  health protection  legionnaire's disease  hepatitis  heatwaves  river beds  water safety  fishing  gardening  workshops  stormwater  biosecurity  volunteer  plant and animal pest management  politics  faith  crime  drugs  pregnancy  native birds  Waimakariri  water quality  schools  early childhood  health professionals  heart disease  kura  school  ethical issues  rangatahi  Linwood  running  donations  whanau  financial pressures  online  health professional  flooding  conflict  peace  winter 

Planting proves challenging on the Waikirikiri Selwyn River

Wednesday, March 22, 2023   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: restoration, environment, waterways, biodiversity

Environment Canterbury media release: 20th March 2023

The combination of dry conditions, thin, poor-quality soil and a highly modified river is making for an extra challenging native revegetation programme on the central Canterbury/Waitaha river berm. 

However, tricky conditions or even flooding are not going to stop our rivers team from trying to reintroduce native plant species along the Waikirikiri Selwyn River. 

That’s because those challenges are far outweighed by the benefits, which include protecting the habitat of the threatened Canterbury mudfish, enhancing the recreational area near the state highway, decreasing flood risk by supporting our flood protection trees, and increasing seed source to re-establish native plant growth.

As part of our wider berm transition project, 5,000 native plants, including miki, kānuka, harakeke and koromiko, are to be planted along the berm of the Waikirikiri this year, adding to the 15,700 that were installed in 2022. 

The berm transition project

We are transforming sites on 23 rivers throughout Waitaha Canterbury through targeted weeding and enhancement planting.  

Targeted weeding means leaving flood protection trees and any remnant native plants untouched while eliminating pest plants like old man’s beard. 

Check out the online map for the berm transition project sites.

The Regionwide Berm Transition Project is part-funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Kānoa – Regional Economic Development and Investment Unit (64 percent), with the remainder co-funded by us through a combination of contributions from partners and operational funding/rates.

Planting sites and techniques

The braided awa Waikirikiri might once have been flanked with varieties of carex grasses, toetoe, patchy kānuka and dry tussock land, Regional Braided River Revival Lead, Greg Stanley said. “There’s almost none of that left now so just getting the plants back in place as a seed source is the focus.”

Along the river, there are two sites that showed promise for supporting native plant life. One is marshy with drains and waterways that join the river and here you can find native plant species on low areas of the berm.

The other is at the confluence of the Hororata River. At these sites, weeds and poor soil are issues however, they are the only two areas on the lower reaches of the river that might have semi-wetland conditions or get some water during the year. A third site, near a popular walking spot, is parched, which makes encouraging growth a challenge.

There is also a heightened chance of losing plantings in these conditions. In this area, we are using strategies that have been proven elsewhere to support growth.  

Strategies we're using include:

  • planting deeper than usual
  • wool weed mats that draw water in
  • mulching
  • additional watering
  • staged, dense planting blocks
  • subcanopy planting where appropriate.

Challenges to re-establishing native plant life

With generally poor soil that is bone dry for much of the time, whenever there is a hint of water available, “the weeds just go boof!” Greg said. Like the weeds, challenges have been plentiful during this project.

“We were a month into it and we had some pretty big floods that blocked all the access and messed things up a bit. That was pretty difficult to work around. At the same time, it meant that there was lots of water and silts – there’s definitely pros and cons,” Greg explains.

Another hurdle the plant's face is animal browsing, which affected two sites.

About 5% of the plants were pulled out at one site, and a temporary fence has been installed to prevent further damage.

Despite the challenges, “It’s definitely one of the areas that’s worth putting the work into,” Greg maintains.

Permanent Central Government co-investment

Significant flood protection, biodiversity, and community projects like this have been made possible due to the Government’s one-off COVID-19 response shovel-ready funding.

However, climate change induced events across the country have highlighted the urgent need to remediate outdated flood protection infrastructure.

Currently, regional and unitary councils invest about $200 million each year in flood protection schemes. With aging structures no longer able to meet the levels of service expected by communities against the challenge of climate change, this is expected to fall short of what’s needed by $150 million per annum. 

Read the call from Te Uru Kahika to Central Government for long-term co-investment [PDF].

What is increasingly clear is that a shared investment today means lower overall recovery costs, better protection for the environment, and for current and future generations.