Over 50 people mucked in at the Manawatū River community planting day this weekend to help improve water quality at its source in the foothills of the Ruahine Ranges.
The planting day was part of a significant project under the Manawatū River Leaders’ Accord and Horizons Regional Council’s freshwater coordinator Lucy Ferguson says it was fantastic to have such an enthusiastic bunch of planters help out for the day.
"People have come from as far as Napier and Wellington and everywhere in between, all because they have an affinity with the area and want to help improve the Manawatū River,” she said.
“By working together we can achieve so much more than we could separately so we really appreciate everyone giving up their time to come along and lend a hand."
The day kicked off with a pōwhiri at Rākautātahi marae where the Te Kāuru hapu, who are signatories of the Accord, welcomed volunteers onto the marae. Following the ceremony members of the marae joined volunteers at the planting site.
Te Kāuru representative Hone Morris said Te Kāuru - representing 11 hapū at the head of the Manawatū - have been in total support of Horizons and the wider community's desire to clean up the Manawatū River.
“It was great to welcome everyone onto Rākautātahi marae to launch this project and to feel the camaraderie of everyone working together on site,” said Mr Morris.
4,200 plants had been earmarked for the site and volunteers successfully planted approximately 1,500. Tararua District Council mayor Roly Ellis said it was great to see a mix of locals and people from outside the immediate area.
"This is a very successful start to a large planting project here at the head waters of the Manawatū and such a good turn out of volunteers," he said.
One of the volunteers was Garrick Murfitt, ex-chairman of Horizons, who said it was satisfying to see how far the Accord had come since his time at the regional council.
"It's really nice to see all these people turn up to take ownership of the project. It's come a long way."
Louise and Graeme Jensen
Charlotte, Frances and Katherine Hughes-Long
Charlie and William Menzies
Janice and Anah-Rose Stephenson
Jenny and Winipere Mauger
Carole and Jacques Coulon
Alison and Maddison Milne-Jones
Beatrice and Richard Murfitt
If you were at the planting day but we didn’t get a chance to write down your name, please let us know so we can add you to the list.