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Waikato RiverCare and Watercare sign

new sponsorship agreement

The long term relationship between Watercare and Waikato RiverCare has been further cemented with the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding, outlining an additional 3 years of financial support.  Watercare has sponsored Waikato RiverCare since 2006, and has always been hands-on in their support, with many volunteer days contributing to the progress of sites over the years.


Waikato RiverCare’s restoration work assists in enhancing the quality of the Waikato River by reducing run-off and river bank erosion through fencing, and increasing biodiversity and habitat for native species.

With Watercare supplying around 370 million litres of drinking water to the people of Auckland from 30 sources, including water from the Waikato River, the relationship between the two organisations has a mutual benefit.


The support from Watercare assists Waikato RiverCare to continue its work restoring self-sustaining native plantings to the Lower Waikato River and its associated catchments. 

November 2014 - Photo shows Waikato RiverCare Chairperson, Ben Wolf, and Suzanne Naylor from Watercare


Waikato RiverCare is delighted to announce that recent discussions between the Waikato District Council and Stevenson Properties Limited has resulted in agreement between the parties to fence the last remaining section of riverbank accessed by stock on SH1 between Taupiri and Huntly townships.


This project is an excellent example of the way the Waikato River draws landowners, community groups and government agencies together to work out solutions that benefit for all parties and protect the future health and wellbeing of the awa. 

Waikato RiverCare is particularly pleased that the agreed fence line will protect a locally significant river back water/wetland and allow for its planting and restoration within the 1100m long project.

Significant Milestone for Waikato River Restoration

Waikato RiverCare has been undertaking habitat restoration works on the 5km section of river between Taupiri and Huntly and to date has completed four major projects covering over 3km of riverbank which has seen stock proof fencing and weed control implemented, as well as over 24,000 plants being planted.


Waikato RiverCare’s operations manager Kevin Hutchinson plans to get fencing underway as soon as ground conditions allow on the new site, with the aim to have the first pre-planting preparation work completed before Christmas.  He’s so keen to get started the plant lists are already prepared and expressions to supply the native plants sought from nurseries for the first planting of 10,500 plants in August 2015.


October 2014

A busy spring for Waikato RiverCare

Infill planting has been taking place at several Waikato RiverCare sites between Ngaruawahia and Rangiririthis week.   The Operations Manager is being supported with assistance from two volunteers keen to do their bit to help improve the health and wellbeing of the awa.


The slow growing and long-lived Kahikatea (Dacrycarpus dacrydioides) and Totara trees (Podocarpus totara) are being planted to help build a platform of resilience to Waikato RiverCare’s established planting projects. The trees have been purchased using funding from Enveco, a long term supporter and funder of Waikato RiverCare’s work to improve riparian health with plantings.  Waikato RiverCare appreciates Enveco’s contribution to the infill planting programme as their  funding provides forboth the purchase of plants and the required follow up maintenance to achieve long-term success. Earlier this month project visits confirmed they are in excellent condition with significant plant growth already.

 A mild winter has caused little frost damage and there has only been one significant flood event, limiting the accumulation of flood debris on projects and damage to plantings.


Low river levels over winter have allowed vegetation to establish on the terraces, which are normally inundated over winter.  This should assist with river bank stability.


Unfortunately the mild winter also benefits the weeds: two key weeds, yellow flag iris and alligator weed, are out early and making the most of high sunlight levels before willow and alder come into leaf.  Weed control is already underway, with spot spraying completed at Ngaruawahia esplanade, Hakarimata A extension, Raahui Pookeka A, Taupiri A, B and D. Large scale project weed control is planned for next month at the Te Awa and Hakarimata E sites.


September 2014

Signage looks smart along the river

During July Waikato RiverCare’s Operations Manager, Kevin Hutchinson, arranged for new signs to be erected at the Taupiri D and Hakarimata A extension projects, and an updated sign to be installed at the Taupiri boat ramp.


The updated sign at the Taupiri boat ramp is positioned higher up the river bank than the previous sign, above most river flood levels, and is more prominent to road users.


Project signage at the Taupiri D site has been located on Waikato Regional Council lands and is positioned towards north bound traffic on extra-long posts to place the sign face above grazing stock. 

The sign’s location is framed by a back ground of growing riparian plantings and the Huntly power station. 


The third sign is located at the Hakarimata A extension project and is visible to all road users and looks great surrounded by the recent plantings.


The clear signage informs the public about Waikato RiverCare’s restoration projects, as well as displaying the logos and acknowledging the support of the key sponsors whose support allows the projects to be undertaken.


August 2014

Ngaruawahia Esplanade In-Fill Planting

Funding received from the Honda Tree Fund was used to purchase of approximately 178 pots (1.5L) of Cabbage tree, Wine Berry and Flax plants to put towards the completion of autumn infill planting at the Ngaruawahia Esplanade reserve project site, near Ngaruawahia Township. 


Infill planting at this site will assist in the long term aim of shading and preventing or slowing the reinvasion of weeds into this riparian restoration project.


June 2014

Local Schools Have Planting Power

Around 150 students from Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Bernard Fergusson and Glen Massey schools turned out for two planting days at the Hakarimata A Extension project in May. 


The students planted around 1100 plants, using eco-sourced natives including Cyperus ustulatus, Carex secta (Purei), Mahoe Melicytus ramifloru, Karamu coprosma robusta, 


Ribbonwood Plagianthus regius, Kanuka Kunzea ericoides and Harakeke Phormium tenax


With the balance of the current planting completed by local contractors at the end of May, this site is looking fantastic.  


May 2014

Getting Involved:

Genesis Energy And Telecom Get Stuck In At Planting Day

Planting started on Friday, 9th May, at Waikato RiverCare’s Hakarimata A Extension project, near Ngaruawahia.


Close to 1500 native plants were planted by a team of 22 volunteers from Genesis Energy and Telecom. 


Through thunderstorms and rain the hardy bunch of helpers steadily worked their way down the site, planting around two thirds of the site’s river edge.

The work done by the group of volunteers was a showcase of social and environmental 


responsibility, and has made a great contribution towards getting more than 6000 plants into the ground at this location. 


The planting days have been funded by grants from Trust Waikato and WEL Energy Trust.

The project site, which is funded by the Waikato Catchment Ecological Enhancement Trust (WCEET), will be further planted by school groups from Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Bernard Fergusson and Glen Massey schools over the next two weeks.


May 2014

Hakarimata E Project: The Fence Goes Up!

Barakat Contractors have recently completed 591 metres of fencing at Waikato RiverCare’s second Waikato River Authority funded restoration project, located only 2.8km north of Ngaruawahia Township off Hakarimata Road.


The restoration project covers a total length of 520 metres of Waikato River bank involving reserve lands administered by both the Waikato District Council and Department of Conservation.


One of the priorities for this project has been surveying and identifying the legal boundary of the reserves.  Key to this work being completed has been co-funding support from both the Waikato District Council and Department of Conservation.  The two parties have funds to secure the reserves from stock access and protect Waikato RiverCare’s and the Authority’s investment in this planting project.    





Waikato RiverCare has received excellent support from the adjoining landowners for the project which started with clear goals and aims to exclude stock from accessing the river, address the significant weed issues found within the riparian zone before replanting the reserve in native plants.


Over the next 12 months Waikato RiverCare will engage the service of contractors to address a number of weed issues found at the Hakarimata E site.  They include removing the hawthorn bushes for burning in winter and gun spraying black berry and climbing weeds found under the crack willow canopy.


Planting at this project is expected to start in September/October 2015.


April 2014


Preparation Underway For Volunteer Planting Days At Hakarimata A Extension Project Site

The Hakarimata A extension planting project is currently being prepared for planting in May this year, with all tree work and weed control now completed.


The 318m long by 10m wide planting project, located on a Department of Conservation reserve just two minutes drive north of Ngaruawahia on Hakarimata Rd, has been supported by funding from the Waikato Catchment Ecological Enhancement Trust. 




There are 6,200 plants going into the ground at the site.  All plants have been sourced from local nurseries using eco-sourced seed.   Three volunteer community planting events in May are planned with the support of local schools, Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Bernard Fergusson and Glen Massey, along with staff from Telecom and Genesis Energy. 


With the excellent support received from neighbours to the project and community enthusiasm for planting, the project is progressing very well.


Fingers crossed for fine weather in early May.


February 2014

This project will restore riparian ecosystems along the 1400m of riverbank adjoining the 3m wide cycle track. 


Both Waikato RiverCare’s and Te Awa River Ride Trust share similar aims with this project, in their intention to restore and protect the Waikato River.  The project aims to contribute to improvements in river health and wellbeing, improve public access and recreation opportunities and develop capacity for future restoration work and on-going site maintenance.


Preparation of the first section of track between Ngaruawahia Esplanade and Croall Crescent is expected to start in February 2014 with completion expected be in June 2014.  Waikato RiverCare expects to be in the position to start pre-planting preparation in this 500m section in November 2014, with project planting expected in early September 2015.


December 2013


The Waikato River Authority has confirmed funding for the first joint initiative between Waikato RiverCare and the Te Awa River Ride Trust. Both organisations are excited to be working together and developing this opportunity.  Both Waikato Rivercare and Te Awa River Ride Trust have well established project track records and strong community, iwi and corporate support.


Te Awa River Ride Trust is constructing the Great New Zealand River Ride, which, once complete, will travel 70 kms along the Waikato River, from Ngaruawahia in the north to Horahora, south of Cambridge. The newest section, between Hamilton and Horotiu, opens December 14th 2013.


Waikato RiverCare’s project starts at the northern boundary of Ngaruawahia Golf Club and ends at the car park on Waikato Esplanade Rd. 





WRA Project Funding Confirmed For Te Awa River Ride Ngaruawahia South Project

New Advisory Member Joins Waikato RiverCare

Waikato RiverCare is pleased to welcome a new Advisory Member to the team, Don Scarlet.


Don is Mighty River Power's Key Relationships Manager and has considerable experience and knowledge on current environmental issues.  He is a ‘go to man’ with an impressive network of contacts developed over 27 years working in the Waikato region.   Don is an active member of a number of community environmental interest groups and has acted as an environmental advocate and chair of action groups in his local community.  He is a Trustee of the Waikato Catchment Ecological Enhancement Trust, Secretary of the National wetland Trust, Chair of ROTAB Investments (the Raukawa Trust Board’s Asset holding company), was a Crown Appointee on the Guardians Establishment Committee and is a director of Hamilton Waikato Tourism.


Don is passionate about getting communities involved in environmental projects and has had a long association with Waikato RiverCare.  His support and advice particularly in developing partnerships has enabled Waikato RiverCare to successfully increase its effectiveness and project involvement on the lower Waikato River.


In his Advisory role, Don will bring his considerable experience in riparian restoration to assist Waikato RiverCare in restoring the banks of the lower Waikato River, increasing biodiversity and enhancing the mauri of our great river.


October 2013

Signage Installation – September 2013

Signage at Waikato RiverCare sites is being updated and has recently been installed at our Taupiri B, Hakarimata C and Meremere sites.  The clear signage assists the public in identifying where Waikato RiverCare is undertaking restoration projects. 





The signs also clearly display the logos of our key sponsors as it is their support which makes the restoration of all our sites possible.


September 2013


Raahui Pookeka A Site Planting Successfully Completed

Waikato RiverCare's biggest ever native tree and shrub planting project has just been completed at Huntly, with more than a kilometre of Waikato River bank planted, thanks to $60,000 of funding assistance from the Waikato River Authority (WRA).


The Raahui Pookeka A project – carried out between 2 and 6 September 2013 with almost 11,400 trees and shrubs planted – is the biggest project ever undertaken by Waikato RiverCare.


“The health of the river and the local Huntly community will reap significant benefits from this work, with planting covering an area 1100 metres by 14 metres,” said operations manager Kevin Hutchinson.


Contractors completed planting 11,400 trees and shrubs on September 6th at the site which is located between the southern boundary of Huntly Township as you drive on State Highway 1 and the Waikato District Council water treatment plant on Jackson Road.


This planting will help keep stock out of the river, reduce erosion and contaminants as well as provide the public with a recreational asset.

The lower Waikato River is a key area of concern for the Waikato River Authority when it comes to protecting and restoring the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River.


“We’re very grateful to the WRA for recognising the value of the project and providing us with the funding we need to get the job done,” said Mr Hutchinson.


The planting brings the amount of river bank fenced and planted by Waikato RiverCare over the past 12 years to 16 kilometres.


“Over the next 10 years we are hoping to plant another 30 sites from near the Te Rapa dairy factory to just downstream of the Tuakau bridge,” said Mr Hutchinson.


To view the Maori Television news article about the site planting, please follow the link:


September 2013

WRA Funding Major Huntly Planting Project

Almost 11,400 native trees and shrubs will be planted along more than a kilometre of Waikato River bank near Huntly, during a major planting project being undertaken by Waikato RiverCare in early September.


The Raahui Pookeka A project is being funded by $60,000 from the Waikato River Authority (WRA) in the first of three major tree-planting projects it has funded through the charitable organisation Waikato RiverCare.  


The Waikato Regional Council and the Huntly-based Waahi Whaanui Trust have been instrumental in promoting and supporting the site as a restoration opportunity.


Work on the planting project is expected to start on September 2nd and be completed by September 6th.  The project involves planting native trees and shrubs along a stretch of river bank starting at the southern boundary of Huntly Township as you drive on State Highway 1 and ending at the Waikato District Council water treatment plant on Jackson Road.


The lower Waikato River is a key work area for a number of Waikato RiverCare’s supporting partners, who all share the goal of protecting and restoring the health and wellbeing of the river.  “The project is a very good example of the collaborative work going on in the region to help protect the health of our waterways,” said Waikato River Authority co-chair Tukoroirangi Morgan.





Ben Wolf, Chairperson of Waikato RiverCare agreed that the project brings numerous benefits to the Waikato River and local community. ‘’Building sustainable partnerships is necessary to grow sustainable habitat. Thanks to the interest in the community and the availability of stakeholder support, the Raahui Pookeka project is a showcase of Waikato RiverCare leading the way in riparian restoration in the Waikato,” Mr Wolf said.


The planting project will complement the Council’s excellent work in undertaking fencing to exclude stock from the site, by providing wildlife habitat, reducing the establishment of weeds and providing a buffer zone to filter surface water. 


“This 1100 metre planting project is the biggest in 12 years of work on the river for Waikato RiverCare, with extremely tight timeframes (five days) for getting 11,400 plants in the ground” said Waikato RiverCare’s operations manager Kevin Hutchinson.


“We are extremely grateful to the WRA for recognising the value of this project and providing us with the funding we need to get the job done. The lower Waikato River is home to many nationally significant fish, plant and bird communities that will benefit from large scale projects like this,” Mr Hutchinson said.  “This kind of riparian planting is generally recognised as one of the best and most efficient ways to improve biodiversity.”  


August 2013


Waikato RiverCare Successfully Completes Autumn Planting

Waikato RiverCare staff and contractors have successfully completed programmed autumn infill planting at 5 Waikato River restoration projects.


A total of 6,230 plants were planted at the following Waikato RiverCare projects, Ngaruawahia esplanade reserve (town boat ramp), Taupiri A project (carpark opposite urupa), Taupiri B project (just north of the Taupiri urupa), Taupiri D (Huntly south) and the Huntly Golf Club.


Waikato RiverCare used last summer’s excellent weather to complete a comprehensive spray programme involving contractors Treescape (Waikato and central North Island).  With the weeds suppressed at projects the next step was arranging native plants to completed infill planting.


Native plants were sourced from three Waikato nurseries helping to reduce freight costs and ensure the supplied plants would handle Waikato weather and soil conditions.  Waikato RiverCare prefers to use native plants that are eco sourced (seed sourced from the Meremere ecological district) on restoration projects.



By early May soil moisture levels were starting to rise and drought conditions eased.  Waterside planters Ltd were contracted by Waikato RiverCare to complete the task within restricted time frames.


Infill planting starting at the low lying Taupiri B project due to the risk of surface flooding and finished with plantings on the banks of the Ngaruawahia esplanade last week.


Infill planting is done by Waikato RiverCare with the long term aim of shading and preventing or slowing the reinvasion of weeds into restoration projects.


A big thanks to all those individuals, neighbours, agencies and companies that helped make the last two months so successful.  For more information on Waikato RiverCare and restoration projects please visit our wed site.


Attached photo: Ed and Barney from Waterside Planters Ltd finish planting the last Totara tree at the Taupiri A project


June 2013

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