Saturday, July 20, 2024

Replanting project sows future bird habitat in Westport

The rock wall project at the eastern Tiphead is now complete, following the replanting of the area between the Tiphead Road and the Kawatiri River Trail walking and cycling track, Buller District Council announced.  

The planting was part of the Kotahitanga mō te Taiao Alliance’s Restoring and Protecting Flora project, and was carried out by a team from local environmental contractor, MBC Environmental. MBC donated weed mats and stakes to help protect the 2,400 native seedlings as they get established.  

“We are very grateful for the donation from MBC Environmental, which, combined with the Jobs for Nature-funded Flora project covering labour costs, saved council over $10,000 for planting and maintenance,” said Mayor, Jamie Cleine.

Weed species such as gorse, wild cherry, and blackberry thrive in disturbed areas, quickly re-colonising the ground. They can outcompete native plants, so the Flora project team will complete two sweeps of weed control over the next year to give the plantings a head-start in the establishment phase, the Mayor said.

After this time, part of the area will be ‘seed bombed’ with native tree species, stacking the decks for native regeneration.

The entrance to the cycling track will be maintained by WestReef Services, providing a tidy welcome to track users and ensuring visibility for those crossing the road. 

“This collaborative approach has been at the heart of the Flora project since the beginning. It enables us to utilise the strengths of our local and national project partners and create outcomes that help nature and people thrive across Te Tauihu / the Top of the South and northern Buller,” said Mayor Cleine.

Kotahitanga mō te Taiao Alliance Partners are Buller, Tasman, Nelson, and Marlborough councils, the West Coast Regional Council, Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō Trust, Te Pātaka a Ngāti Kōata Trust, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Kuia Trust, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Rārua, Ngāti Tama ki Te Waipounamu Trust, Te Atiawa o Te Waka-a-Māui Trust, Rangitāne o Wairau Settlement Trust, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae and Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira, along with the Department of Conservation, the Ministry for Primary Industries and Fisheries NZ. 

The Alliance was established in 2017, to support an integrated approach to transformational outcomes for nature and our communities. 

Buller District Council and the West Coast Regional Council have worked with the Alliance for the past six years – a collaboration which has helped the Buller District Council secure more than $1.4 million of funding towards the creation of jobs (six FTE) and a landscape-scale weed control programme in the district.  

See for more information about the Kotahitanga mō te Taiao Alliance. 

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