It’s all about taking responsibility for our environment – planting and nurturing the 400 hectares of land our businesses inhabit for the long-term and future generations. Led by the Taranaki Regional Council (TRC), it’s been a collaboration with Taranaki’s community of landowners and farmers for success.
There is now over 6,000 hectares of protected native habitat alongside streams – with over 15,000 kilometres of streambanks and wetlands fenced, and riparian planting of over 6 million native plants to protect and improve the quality of the region’s waterways and landscape.
One of the reasons the project has been such a success is due to everyone understanding the challenge, and importantly, what needed to happen to resolve it. It’s been a collaborative and voluntary effort rather than something that was a directive by Council. The challenge addressed was pasture run-off from paddocks into the regions many waterways and streams. A consultative process across specialists, the community, and TRC resulted in the decision that fencing and planting streambanks presented the best solution – The fences prevent stock accessing the waterways, and native vegetation protects the waterways from run-off, as well as providing shade and supporting the health of streams.
Due to the unique nature of various sections of land in the region, Council specialists have worked with individual landowners to develop specific plans presenting the ideal planting scenario, the most appropriate native varieties to plant, and laying out areas to be fenced. This provides maximum impact for the particular area, and for the project as a whole. The riparian planting plan for our land was a collaboration between TRC and Rowan Stockwell, our Environmental Manager.
“Our property hosts a number of streamways, with the Inaha Stream running through the property alongside un-named tributaries. This makes our property unique with a lot of large gullies which pose a challenge for riparian planting. There’s approximately 150 acres in total of deep gully areas that won’t support riparian planting so we’re working with TRC on a solution. Investigating planting pine trees is an option.
The Council had a goal for all of Taranaki waterways to be planted out by late 2021, and to support this they provided riparian plants at heavily subsidised rates, leaving it with the landowners to plant them. Unfortunately COVID has had a big impact on completion dates and plant availability, so original dates have been shifted out, with the TRC continuing to support by subsidising plants on a case-by-case basis through to present.
“We have just had a delivery of 4,500 riparian plants for this year with 2,500 – 3000 lined up for planting,” says Rowan Stockwell, Environmental Manager, Taranaki Bio Extracts.
Alongside the waterway planting, a programme of wetland planting is underway. Taranaki By Products/Taranaki Bio Extracts have a large wetland area being planted with riparian plants later this year, with approximately 1500 ear-marked for this.
“With the original goal to plant all waterways on the property by the end of 2021, this is ongoing and sitting at approximately 75% completion. As a separate project, the wetland planting has no deadline as yet,” says Rowan Stockwell.
Air quality is another environmental consideration for Taranaki Bio Extracts – there were approximately 250 trees planted around the boundary of the site earlier this year in response.
“As a shelter belt they are starting to take hold now, and long term will support noise reduction and contribute to odour management for our plant.
“We continue with the riparian planting knowing our efforts are feeding into those of the wider Taranaki region, providing for successful outcomes for our eco-systems as a whole,” says Rowan Stockwell.