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More than 3000 trees planted alongside Porirua Stream this week are part of a multi-year project to help stop silt and contaminants entering Te Awarua-o-Porirua Harbour.
Carex, flax, toi toi, lemonwoods and other natives were planted on stream banks below Kenepuru Drive (near the darts club) this week as part of Project #ReBlossomNZ, a collaboration led Botanica by Airwick and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF New Zealand), working together with Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Porirua City Council, Wellington City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council.
The project will eventually see more than 6600 plants planted along this culturally significant stream.
Porirua Mayor Anita Baker said projects like this one are a big step towards rejuvenating our harbour, a precious taonga for all of Porirua and the region.
"We have set aside $600,000 for riparian planting in our recently signed-off Long-term Plan, so we’re serious about this work," she said.
"We know what this planting means, and so do the people of our city. It’s so satisfying to see this kind of work underway and with many more harbour-focused projects in the pipeline I’m sure the community will help us along the journey."
While the recent lockdown and current alert levels have prevented public involvement in plantings, there will be ample opportunities in the next five years for people to get their hands in the soil.
The trees planted this week will help to prevent pollutants from the nearby road entering Porirua Stream, and provide shade. The stream supports six species of native fish: longfin and shortfin eels, giant kōkopu, inanga, redfin, and common bullies.
Unfortunately, the stream also exhibits many of the characteristics of a degraded urban stream, including bank erosion, lack of riparian vegetation and channelisation.
On Monday, Ngāti Toa kaumatua Taku Parai blessed the planting site and spoke of Porirua’s Stream’s essential role in tuna heke (eel migrations). Treaty and Strategic Relationships General Manager Naomi Solomon acknowledged the significance of the waterway to Ngāti Toa, having historically been used for mahinga kai (food gathering areas).
"The collective planting efforts will go far in providing protection for the stream bed and raising awareness in the community around kaitiakitanga of our natural environment," she said.
Botanica, WWF and partners are planning similar projects for the South Island and Auckland in the near future.
23 Sep 2021