Project marks 200,000 plantings

Clare St Pierre, left, and Bexie Towle weed one of the plantings in Te Awamutu’s Daphne St Reserve. Photo: Jeremy Smith

The Taiea te Taiao project has completed 200,000 plantings in its first two years.

The initiative, founded in 2021 and funded and planned out for the next
five years, seeks to establish an ecological corridor between Maungatautari and
Pirongia.

The two maunga, 40km apart, have successful pest control and restoration programmes and are linked by the Mangapiko Stream.

Taiea te Taiao project co-ordinator Bexie Towle told The News of the figures achieved to date in the roughly 45,000 hectare catchment area ahead of a day planned for Sunday when the public can help with work in Te Awamutu’s Daphne St Reserve.

About 200 plants – including flax and pittosporum – were planted at the reserve to help improve the water quality of Mangapiko Stream in August.

Land, Air, Water Aotearoa data rated the stream in the worst 25 percent of all test sites for water quality.

At its inception, Taiea te Taiao – led by the New Zealand Landcare
Trust – received funding for two staff members, Bexie and Māori facilitator
Te Ao te o Rangi Apaapa, from the Ministry for the Environment’s Freshwater Improvement Fund.

Four years of funding has also been received from Waikato River Authority for tree planting and maintenance.

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