Te Waihora planting

by Mike Isle

The Selwyn District Council has welcomed an announcement by the Minister of Conservation, Hon Eugenie Sage, that 68,000 native trees will be planted around Te Waihora shoreline.

The project will create 34 hectares of new kahikatea swamp forest as part of the government’s One Billion Trees programme.

Co-Chairs Steve Lowndes (Environment Canterbury) and Lisa Tumahai (Ngai Tahu) of the governing group, Te Waihora, which includes the Selwyn District Council, said the new kahikatea forest will offer great conservation and cultural value, and add to the variety of native planting projects that had been happening around the lake for many years.

“The lake shoreline was once covered with native forest,” they said.

“This project will create a habitat for native birds and fish and improve the health of the wetland ecosystem by helping to prevent nutrients flowing into the lake.

“It will enhance the work iwi and many others are doing to protect and restore the cultural and ecological values of the lake and its margins.”

The Department of Conservation recently accepted an invitation to join the Te Waihora Co-Governance Group. Also working on this planting project will be Environment Canterbury and Selwyn District Council, as well as Living Water (a DOC/Fonterra partnership), Te Ara Kakariki and Waihora Ellesmere Trust.