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Work starts on river clean up

Wellington Fish & Game

Work starts on river clean up

The first steps have been taken towards cleaning up one of New Zealand’s most polluted waterways – the Manawatu River.

Wellington Fish & Game is involved in a bid to restore a stream flowing into the Mangatainoka River, a major tributary of the Manawatu.

Fish & Game is being joined by local farmers, Fonterra, Tararua District Council, and Horizons Regional Council to start up a stream restoration project on the Pukemiku Stream near Pahiatua.

“We’re pleased that a start has been made,” says Wellington Fish & Game Manager Phil Teal.

“This builds on the collaborative approach taken in the Manawatu River Accord by many agencies; it has changed the focus to finding solutions to declining water quality.”

Today the first streamside planting marks the start of the clean-up project with thousands of trees put in along the Pukemutu Stream.

Mr Teal says streamside vegetation plays a vital role in stabilising river banks, soaking up nutrient run-off from agriculture and providing shade and shelter for wildlife.

“It’s great to see action finally happening on the ground,” says Mr Teal. “It’s also encouraging that the dairy industry is working with other agencies on this initiative and helping fund the clean-up.”

Fonterra, Horizons Regional Council, and Tararua District Council have all contributed funding towards the project, with all agencies working together making a contribution.

Mr Teal says the planting of the Pukemiku Stream is just the start of a long-term project to clean up the Manawatu River.

“The important thing is the clean-up has begun.”


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