North Canterbury collaboration increases environmental outcomes

Zone delivery projects in the Hurunui Waiau Uwha and Waimakariri zones have seen more than $200,000 dedicated to protecting and enhancing water quality, biodiversity and mahinga kai outcomes.

Zone delivery projects are led by our zone delivery teams, who operate at a local level, supporting landowners, community groups, our regional teams, and other organisations, to meet the Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS) targets.

Much of this work is through advice and assistance to landowners wanting to increase the level of protection for waterbodies on their property and working with other agencies and community groups to extend funding and efforts.

Collaboration key focus

Planting work at Mahinga Kai area in Kaiapoi

Planting work at Mahinga Kai area in Kaiapoi

Waimakariri and Hurunui Waiau Uwha zone delivery lead Marco Cataloni says this year’s projects have had a big focus on working collaboratively to better support landowners, community and environmental outcomes in the two zones, with funding from our Zone Priority Project Fund and Me Uru Rākau Programme.

“We’re rapt to have worked with a range of other agencies such as the Hurunui District Council, Waimakariri District Council, contractors, a variety of catchment groups and of course, landowners," Marco said.

“The majority of the funding focuses on improving fencing along waterways, weed or pest control and planting – all supporting areas for native wildlife and people to co-exist and enjoy the benefits of nature.

“By taking this collaborative approach – working with other groups and agencies and bringing in experts as and where needed – the funding has gone a long way. It’s been great to work together to increase outcomes for the zone, and for local communities,” he said.

Funding overview

A number of different sites within the Waimakariri and Hurunui Waiau Uwha water zones have had significant actions and funding committed. Projects include:


  • Planting projects funded by Waimakariri District Council with $55,000 from Me Uru Rākau - supporting its Arohatia Te Awa/Cherish the River Programme
  • Silverstream loop maintenance - $40,000 from Zone Priority Project Funding
  • Saltwater Creek Estuary native planting - $15,000 from Zone Priority Project Funding

Hurunui Waiau Uwha:

  • Jed River catchment willow control - $35,000 from Zone Priority Project Funding
  • Waipara River catchment weed control, wetland protection and planting - $70,000 from Zone Priority Project Funding

Current projects

Waimakariri District Council planting programme

Waimakariri District Council (WDC) is funding the installation of 12,000 plants across seven sites it manages. Work is being undertaken by WDC rangers, with planting ongoing until the end of spring this year.

We've supported this work with $55,000 from Me Uru Rākau, with funding going towards supplying plants and plant guards.

“Biodiversity enhancement, recreational access, and water quality enhancement are key priorities for our council,” Waimakariri District Council’s Community and Recreation General Manager Chris Brown said.

“Being able to accelerate our planting season through working in partnership with Environment Canterbury has been rewarding and great for our communities.”

Sites included as part of this project cover a variety of land types — waterways, wetlands, parks and reserves, forest, and urban areas. Plants were installed in the following reserves:

Planting work at Silverstream in Kaiapoi

Planting work at Silverstream in Kaiapoi

  • Mahinga Kai area, Kaiapoi (2,000)
  • Featherstone Avenue, Kairaki (500)
  • Honda Forest, Kaiapoi (500)
  • Taranaki Reserve, Waikuku (2,500)
  • Silverstream Village, Kaiapoi (500)
  • Whites Road, Mandeville (1,000) and
  • Silverstream Reserve and Clarkville (5,000).

Volunteers, community groups, and contractors are all supporting the planting and maintenance of these sites.

Silverstream loop

Staff have been working with the Silverstream Reserve Group, contractors, and our regional parks team to plant and maintain native vegetation along Silverstream in Kaiapoi.

Our Zone Priority Project Funding has supported this project with $40,000 for weed management along Harpers and Giles Roads stopbank walking track. This work is set to be completed later in the year by contractors.

Saltwater Creek Estuary native planting

$15,000 has been allocated to support native planting along Saltwater Creek Estuary wetland edge, where a local property borders the saltwater marsh wetland estuary edge. Funding has been supplied through our Zone Priority Project Fund.

Jed River catchment willow control

Non-mechanical willow removal/control has been carried out in the Woolshed Creek/Hutchison Reserve – a tributary of the Jed River behind Cheviot.

The Jed River Catchment Group is managing this project, with support from the Hurunui District Council. Around 200 metres of the creek has had willows removed, with planting to replace the trees. $35,000 from our Zone Priority Project Fund was allocated to this work.

Read more about the Jed River Catchment Group project.

Waipara River catchment work

Upper catchment - There are two projects in the upper catchment. The Department of Conservation, QEII and a landowner are working to protect rare limestone plants and animals by targeted weed control. Old man's beard, spur valerian, pig's ear, and wilding pines are among the weeds being controlled at the site with $20,000 allocated to support this work.

Wetland project - $20,000 has been allocated to two wetlands and one riparian area in a small catchment of the Waipara River, all on the same property. The project is supporting biodiversity values in the catchment, with increased native vegetation for bird, fish, and insect species.

Waipara catchment wetland

Waipara catchment wetland

The land has been retired from stock grazing, with the area being dominated by limestone – which is unique for wetlands – and a spring feed stream with a permanent flow. The spring-fed stream is helping improve mahinga kai values as its permanent flow means the water temperature is constant, allowing for outstanding ecological health.

The funding is being used for around 1,000 metres of new fencing and $4,000 work of eco-sourced plants. Two hectares of land is being retired from stock grazing as part of this work, with the total estimated cost of the project, including landowner contribution, more than $36,000.

Lower catchment - A coastal wetland near Teviotdale is being protected through willow removal.

The wetland, at around 40 hectares in size, is connected to the Waipara hāpua/rivermouth. $30,000 has been allocated to support the landowner in protecting the wetland and creating a management plan to continue enhancing the biodiversity in the area. This work is in collaboration with landowners, our rivers team, and the Hurunui District Council.

Contractors are managing the project, where willows will be drilled and filled. They will eventually rot while standing, providing continued habitat for bird species while the understorey develops. Old man's beard and giant willow herb are also being managed to a lesser extent.

All funding support for these Waipara River catchment projects is through our Zone Priority Project Fund.