Help protect our waterways

Water is a priority in our region and Horizons’ works closely with our community, iwi and landowners to protect and manage our waterways. Our current approach and targets are detailed in the One Plan and on Our Freshwater Future page. You can find out more about our specific programmes, projects and work by exploring our Water pages. There are a lot of things that you can do to help protect our waterways and we are here to help you with advice, resources, and opportunities for funding. 

Improving the health of our rivers and streams takes a lot of hard work, resources and time however if everyone works together we can make lasting change. If you want to play your part too, there are lots of things you can do to get involved. Check out the actions below for both landowners and community members to see what you can do and get in touch with us to find out more.


Get Involved Community Actions 2019

Plant a tree

The benefits of planting trees are many – for our waterways the major benefits include filtering nutrients from land run off, reducing sediment levels, controlling erosion of stream banks, and providing habitat for birds, fish and insects.

Did you know winter is the best time to plant trees? Young plants grow best with consistent rainfall and low temperatures. Every winter Horizons, with the help of community groups, Iwi and landowners, plant hundreds of thousands of trees across our region. 

Reduce plastic waste

Despite efforts to recycle, plastic waste ends up in our waterways. Reduce the amount of unnecessary plastic you use to help reduce the amount of plastic waste produced locally.

Wash your car on the grass

Grass acts as a natural filter for contaminants, trapping potential pollutants such as oil, dirt and grease. Washing your car on the lawn filters run off through the soil before entering storm water drains and ultimately the river.

Dispose of toxic chemicals safely

Stop hazardous waste from reaching the river by disposing of it at dedicated facilities. Remember that everything that goes down the drain will eventually end up in our rivers and streams.

Pick up litter

Next time you’re down by the awa take on the challenge of picking up five pieces of litter. Every bit counts and it all adds up to a happier, healthier environment for everyone to enjoy.

See it, report it, call 0508 800 800

If you see a chemical spill or contaminants in waterways call the freephone Horizons’ Pollution Hotline.

Our region extends over 22,000 km2 from Ruapehu in the north and Horowhenua in the south, to Whanganui in the west and Tararua in the east. We can't be everywhere at once so we need our community to report potential pollution, so if you see something that doesn't look right report it so we can investigate.  

Get Involved Landowner Actions 2019

Combat hill country erosion

Erosion can have a major impact on sediment and clarity in our waterways. Reduce the amount of sediment entering our awa and keep soil on your land by planting poplar poles in erosion prone areas.

If you're a landowner and want to find out more about how you can make your land more sustainable and protect our waterways get in touch with us, Horizons has the largest regional programme to address hill country erosion in New Zealand. The Sustainable Land Use Initiative (SLUI) involves working closely with landowners and other agencies to develop a Whole Farm Plan help you keep your soil on your land. 

Fix barriers to fish passage

Many of the native fish species need to get back and forth between their fresh water homes and the sea to breed. Barriers to this migration seriously impact our native fish, many of which are at risk. Find out how to make dams, weirs, and overhanging culverts in your streams fish friendly by getting in touch with one of our freshwater team on freephone 0508 800 800.

Protect streams with riparian planting and fencing

Keeping stock out of waterways and protecting streams with a buffer of plants along stream margins has a major impact on water quality and stream habitat. Improve sediment, nutrient, and bacteria levels in our awa and help aquatic life thrive in your streams through effective riparian management.

There are many benefits of riparian planting, if you want to help protect your local stream here is a guide for community stream restoration to help get you started. Recommended plants for riparian margins vary depending on where you are in our region, check out our riparian planting guides to find out what's right for your area.  

Manage effluent on your farm

Nutrient and bacteria in our waterways has a major impact on water quality in our catchment. Implement sustainable systems for managing effluent on your farm and help keep our awa healthy and safe.

Protect wetlands and native bush on your land

Today a fraction of the original indigenous cover remains in our region. Landowners play a vital role in conserving these precious ecosystems, find out how to protect bush remnants and wetlands on your land.

Along with the work Horizons is doing many different groups and organisations are working to protect biodiversity and conservation, such as the Department of ConservationForest and BirdQEII National Trust, and community groups. 

Lead a community project

If you're passionate about our waterways and want to help do something to protect them, whether it's a stream clean up or a major riparian planting project, we are here to help. Every year there is funding available for community projects that aim to enhance and protect our waterways. Take advantage of the support available and galvanise your community.

Find out more about Horizons opportunities for grants and sponsorship.

You can also find out more about community projects and funding in the Manawatū Catchment by visiting the Manawatū River website. Horizons has been a member of the Manawatū River Leaders' Accord since it's inception in 2010, and work closely with iwi, industry partners and community groups to support and protect the awa.