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Catchment Care Restores the Waitoa River

Media Release

Catchment Care Restores the Waitoa River

4 August 2011
On Wednesday, 10th August, Catchment Care, a partnership programme with Fonterra and Conservation Volunteers New Zealand (CVNZ), will be carrying out an exciting planting project to restore and enhance the native diversity of plants and wildlife along the Waitoa River.

The planting will take place adjacent to the Fonterra Waitoa factory alongside the River. This area was purchased by Fonterra for the restoration project with the vision to provide a model of riparian planting for the farming community through engaging Fonterra staff and the community.

The project also aims to help improve the water quality of the Waitoa River. The Waitoa is a major river in the Waikato Region flowing northeast from its origins at Piarere (north of Lake Karapiro). The restoration of native planting along the riverbanks will help reduce the run off of enriched nutrients, silt and sedimentation improving both the water quality and habitat for wildlife. Planting also provides much needed shade alongside rivers re-creating habitat niches for native fish species.

The area has already been fenced in preparation for the planting day which will be part of a seven year long plan aimed to completely restore the 5.2ha area. Fonterra staff, a team of volunteers from CVNZ and students from Waitoa School will be involved in planting just over 2,500 native plants including titoki, kahikatea, rimu, lacebark, kanuka, manuka, mapou, kohuhu, totara, matai, and kohai. The land already contains a grove of kahikatea forest and the volunteers are enthusiastic to be able to expand this significant area.

Fonterra Waitoa Operations Manager, Scott Nelson said, “The team is really looking forward to working with our local community to get these plants in the ground and make a difference environmentally.”

Leana Hunt, Corporate Social Responsibility Portfolio Manager at Fonterra, said the Waitoa River is just one of the Catchment Care projects Conservation Volunteers is involved in the Waikato. Communities already involved with Catchment Care have started to see the benefits.

“We’re working with school groups, conservation groups, farmers and local councils, among other who have all started seeing benefits. These are local people, getting involved in local projects to enhance and protect their own catchment areas,” said Leana.

ENDS

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