Project Title: 2019 Wainuiomata River Restoration at Baring Head

Funding Close Date: 7 Dec 2018



Metres Planted:
555 m

NZD $47152.4

Location: Baring Head

GPS Coordinates: -41.403704, 174.882766

Project Cost: NZD $47152.4

Cost per Metre: NZD $85

Metres to be planted: 550m

Field Partner: Greater Wellington Regional Council

Project ID: NI26

Project Description:


We’ve received a very generous donation from the Velvin family which will match all new donations to this project up to $15,000. The Velvins live in the greater Wellington region and believe strongly in the importance of improving water quality and conservation.

Thank you so much Mr and Mrs Velvin for match funding the next $15,000 in donations received!

The Velvin’s donation comes to us via The Gift Trust, which is a philanthropic trust that helps people who want to make larger donations to charitable causes to do so more effectively.

Donate today and know that your contribution will be doubled.


Hi, we’re the Friends of the Baring Head Charitable Trust.

Earlier this year, we reached out to supporters like YOU to help us make a start with the intensive planting programme at Baring Head. Thanks so much! We will be able to plant 1,500 native plants and trees along the Wainuiomata River at Baring Head in 2018.

In 2019 we want to more than double the effort by planting 5,000 native plants and trees. We have a BIG goal – planting the whole riverbank at Baring Head with native plants and trees! That means we have to grow our planting programme year on year to make any real headway.

You can help us get there!


Baring Head is a spectacular 284 hectare headland and river valley on the coast south of Wainuiomata, between Palliser Bay and Wellington Harbour. It’s a scenic reserve, managed by the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) as part of the East Harbour Regional Park.

Friends of the Baring Head supports GWRC in its stewardship of the area and the protection, maintenance and restoration of Baring Head.


The park includes the lower reaches of the Wainuiomata River, a listed Water of National Importance. The lower river and its wetlands cover some 60 hectares! The river meanders through the lower valley and ends in a lagoon.

The river contains many species of native fish that have a “Declining” conservation status including the long finned eel, inanga (whitebait), lamprey, giant and red fin bully and giant kokopu.

Birds include the nationally threatened grey duck, the uncommon black shag, and the black swan and paradise shelduck. There is also a freshwater mussel population.


The river is unique in the region because it is fully connected to its flood plain and tributaries. There are no dams or catchment works which disrupt its flow.

That said, historic deforestation and grazing have resulted in bank erosion, loss of shading, and loss of river edge habitat. Fish spawning sites and mussel habitat have been negatively affected by sediment.

The river is also impacted by upstream changes, which have altered overall hydrology (e.g. frequency and size of floods) and water quality. There are also a number of aquatic weeds.


Replanting the Wainuiomata with native plants and trees will reduce bank slumping. As the trees grow in they will create shade and improve fish habitat. Planting will speed recovery of the area, increase plant diversity and repair inanga (whitebait) spawning sites.

In the 2019 planting season our goal is to plant 550 metres of the Wainuiomata River with over 5,000 native plants and trees, including cabbage trees, harakeke, ngaio and toetoe.

We’re fundraising for plants, as well as site prep, planting and post-care. This year, we’re working with Conservation Volunteers to make sure we have enough planting and maintenance support for the site. Our fundraising goal also includes Million Metres’ 15% admin fee to maintain the website and help with the fundraiser.


We have already fenced off the river edges and wetlands, and in 2018 we started our intensive planting programme.

Next year we hope to get 5,000 plants and trees in the ground. Then in 2020 we will build to 7,000!

Over the next 10 years we’d like to restore all the lower reaches of the Wainuiomata River. This is a huge area and is one seventh of the main stem of the river!

Restoring this area will be an incredible example of the biodiversity and water quality outcomes that can be achieved in the rest of the valley.


The restoration of the Wainuiomata River at Baring Head is an amazing opportunity. The area has exceptional ecological values and supports many threatened species.

We hope you will donate to the project today. You can donate any amount!

Baring Head is a public reserve so all are welcome. Come get to know your river and see the benefits of river restoration work first hand!

Please get in touch with Friends of Baring Head Trust if you are interested in participating in a planting or restoration day.


Baring Head is a recent addition to the park. In 2010, the Nature Heritage Fund, Department of Conservation, GWRC, Hutt City Council and a private benefactor jointly funded the purchase of the land. This followed a groundswell of diverse community support from individuals and groups like the Wellington Conservation Board, Forest and Bird, the Wellington Botanical Society and others.

Friends of the Baring Head formed after the purchase. We support GWRC in its stewardship of the area and the protection, maintenance and restoration of Baring Head. We’re helping to implement a Biodiversity Action Plan. We organise and run public events such as beach clean-ups, predator trapping, tree planting and weeding working bees. We also are restoring a lighthouse complex in the park, which includes two houses, a generator building and garage.


Established in 2006 in New Zealand, and drawing on over 30 years of experience in Australia, Conservation Volunteers NZ’s (CVNZ’s) expertise in managing volunteer involvement in conservation projects is widely recognised. CVNZ works with local communities, the business sector and government agencies to bring together additional volunteers to undertake significant conservation projects. CVNZ has offices throughout both the North and South Islands, in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Punakaiki.

At Baring Head, CVNZ will lead the teams on the ground, getting more people involved in restoring this spectacular slice of NZ.

Progress Photos: