Nga Puna Rau Rangitīkei community planting day

The Nga Puna Rau Rangitīkei Project, for preserving and enhancing the mauri of the Rangitīkei River and its catchment, is being celebrated today with a community planting day at the Pourewa Stream.

Ngā Puna Rau Rangitīkei is led by a group of members of Ngā Pae o Rangitīkei with support from the Ministry for the Environment, Horizons Regional Council, Rāngitīkei District Council, local landowners, and community members.


The project seeks to engage communities with the Rangitīkei Catchment and undertake waterway restoration works in a number of areas. In the Pourewa Stream the focus is on removing willows, removing stock from waterways, and planting native trees.


Earlier this morning, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith and Māori Party Co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox announced a $700,000 Te Mana o Te Wai grant for the $800,000 project. Horizons Regional Council has provided $74,000 and the Rangitīkei District Council $4,000 in additional funding.


Project representatives will be joined by children from Hunterville School, Rangitikei MP Ian McKelvie, Horizons Councillor Gordon McKellar, and staff of the Rāngitīkei District Council, to help plant 1200 native trees at today’s celebration.


Horizons Councillor McKellar says the Rangitīkei River holds very strong cultural values, as well as recreational value to many. “The Pourewa Stream’s proximity to the coast is important for the lifecycle of native fish that need a way to get to the sea.”


“Today’s planting is a great example of how combined efforts can make a significant contribution to protecting and enhancing our waterways for generations to come,” says Mr McKellar.


“Every little bit of improvement work that the community does in the catchment adds up to making the Rangitikei River a place for everybody to enjoy. Hopefully today’s work will inspire others along the river to continue to look after it.”


Chairman of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Hauiti Neville Lomax says the planting of native trees along tributaries of the Rangitīkei River, such as the Pourewa Stream, will go a long way to satisfying the wishes of all people with an interest in the future of our waterways to repair the damage that has been done to our rivers in recent times.


“This symbolic celebration is the first step in our commitment to co-operate with all stakeholders in the replanting of native tree species along all threatened waterways, within the wider Rangitīkei/Manawatū Districts, which feed into the Rangitīkei River,” says Mr Lomax. 


The planting day will begin with a pōwhiri at Rātā Marae at 10am. Following morning tea and formalities, the group will make their way to the Pourewa Stream for an official blessing and a planting session that will start at around 12 noon. Rātā Marae is at 43 Te Hou Hou Road, Rātā – 10kms south of Hunterville just off State Highway 1.