Mon, Jul 10, 2023 5:00 AM

Project accelerates Pelorus planting




Native seedlings are being planted in wetlands and along rivers and streams in Marlborough’s Te Hoiere/Pelorus catchment. Te Hoiere Project is paying towards and organising the planting of 13 sites totalling 7.2 hectares this autumn and early winter, says catchment care coordinator, Aubrey Tai. Landowners and the Project share costs including buying and planting seedlings, fencing to keep stock out, weed control, and maintaining plantings.

“We help people to improve their land towards meeting national and local rules aimed at protecting the health of freshwater along with the health and well-being of people and the environment,” says Aubrey.  

Dairy farmers, Mark and Simone Zillwood, are Te Hoiere Project catchment leaders for Pelorus/Wakamarina offering over-the-gate advice. They have fenced and planted natives along the banks of a stream running through their dairy farm between Canvastown and Pelorus Bridge. This prevents bank erosion and restores local biodiversity.  

This autumn the Zillwoods planted another 1000 native seedlings and protected them with tree guards, helped by Te Hoiere Project.  “The Project is helping people who are short of time and money, enabling them to get things done more quickly than originally planned,” says Mark.   Te Hoiere Project is also providing 15,000 native seedlings to Ngāti Kuia, for planting at Ruapaka Wetland near Te Hora Marae at Canvastown.

Diploma of Horticulture graduates trained by NMIT in partnership with the iwi are doing the planting, where willows and other invasive weeds have been poisoned by drilling with herbicide or helicopter spraying.  Stock fences will be built, weeds controlled, pests monitored, a trapping programme developed, and options to improve fish passage explored. The Ministry for the Environment is helping pay for this wetland restoration along with Fonterra and the Department of Conservation. Waka Kotahi/Marlborough Roads provided a stop-go road crew as machinery ground poisoned willows into mulch for seedlings.

Ngāti Kuia Kaitiaki Mō Te Hoiere Awa Coordinator, Shannon Huntley, says the Project is a good example of co-governance. The iwi is a partner along with the Marlborough District Council, Rangitāne o Wairau, the Department of Conservation and the community. Te Hoiere Project aims to protect Te Hoiere/Pelorus catchments and restore biodiversity from the headwaters to the sea/ki uta ki tai.

Packages are tailored to each property and landowners’ ability to contribute labour, plants, or materials. To participate, people must agree to a free catchment condition survey and sign a landowner agreement.

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