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Rolleston tamariki get involved in planting project

Tuesday, September 13, 2022   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: water, restoration, biodiversity, community engagement, children

Environment Canterbury media release: 12th September 2022

Students from Waitaha and Te Rōhutu Whio schools in Rolleston have had some hands-on planting experience during Kids Discovery Plant-out days with Te Taumutu Rūnanga in Te Waihora catchment.

Students planted in-fill plantings in the riparian margin along Te Waikēkēwai/Waikēkēwai Stream during the field trips, organised by the Whakaora Te Waikēkēwai project team and Te Ara Kākāriki Greenway Canterbury Trust.

Whakaora Te Waikēkēwai is a five-year river restoration project that extends eight kilometres upstream from Ngāti Moki Marae and is led by Te Taumutu Rūnanga.

Find out more about Te Ara Kākāriki Greenway Canterbury Trust.

The native seedlings will help to stabilise the riverbanks and prevent sediment from eroding into the river, as the vegetation will filter farm run-off and as well as providing habitat for aquatic wildlife.

The wildlife in Te Waikēkēwai/Waikēkēwai Stream proved to be plentiful, and the students were spell-bound by the many tuna/long-finned eel in the river, some estimated to be 40 years or older, as well as īnanga/whitebait and cased caddisfly larvae, which are considered taonga and deserving of care and protection.

Students were also treated to a lesson in raranga/weaving with Aunty Daph and learnt to make putiputi/flowers or ika/fish from harakeke/flax.

Kids Discovery Plant-out coordinator Lou Drage, said that the students enjoyed taking action to link their learning from the classroom to the field.

“This programme is engaging students with nature and empowering them to make a positive difference to the health of our local waterways and Te Waihora.”

The Whakaora Te Waikēkēwai project team welcomes community interest and engagement in this project. Please contact Sophie McGregor for more information (

The Whakaora Te Waikēkēwai project

Whakaora Te Waikēkēwai aims to restore the lower-mid catchment of Te Waikēkēwai/Waikēkēwai Stream by improving water quality, enhancing mahinga kai opportunities and increasing indigenous biodiversity.

The project is led by Te Taumutu Rūnanga and co-managed by Environment Canterbury. The project is funded through Environment Canterbury and the Government’s Freshwater Improvement Fund (administered by the Ministry for the Environment), and governed by the Te Waihora Co-Governance Group.