Project Title: 2021 Wainuiomata River Restoration at Baring Head

Funding Close Date: 30 Jun 2021



Metres Planted:
1121 m

NZD $40356

Location: Baring Head

GPS Coordinates: -41.397514, 174.877819

Project Cost: NZD $40356

Cost per Metre: NZD $36

Metres to be planted: 1121m

Field Partner: Greater Wellington Regional Council

Project ID: NI55

Project Description:


We’ve received another very generous donation from Janet and Patrick Velvin. The Velvins live in the greater Wellington region and believe strongly in the importance of improving water quality and conservation.

Thank you so much Janet and Patrick for your support!

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.

Also a big thank you to David Savage and the Spoked Crew who recently completed the Tour Aotearoa (TA) – a 3000km cycling journey from Cape Reinga to Bluff. The team of four took on the challenge in support of two charities: The Neurological Foundation of New Zealand and the Million Metres Streams Project. Funds raised throughout the journey will support the Wainuiomata Project in their restoration efforts this year. Thank you! 

Our Project

We are the Friends of Baring Head and we are back fundraising through Million Metres to support our long-term restoration goal to bring life back to the Wainuiomata River and its associated wetlands.

In 2018 we reached out to our supporters to help us start a major programme to restore the edge of the lower Wainuiomata River. We had fenced off the river flats and needed to transform a hay paddock into a forest.

Each year you have helped us get closer to that goal. In 2018 we planted around 1500 plants. In 2019 we put in 4643. Last season, we managed, despite Covid-19, to reach our target and got in over 7000 plants.

All those plants are growing and making a difference. But we have a lot more to do. Much of the area still only has small clumps of ngaio in a sea of long grass. We also want to start adding in more of the plants that would have been found along the river, such as tutu and kowhai, and trees like titoki, and creating new patches of some of the rarer plants like the grey shrub daisy.

Our aim for next year’s planting season is to put in over 8000 plants. That will allow us to plant the side of the river that we haven’t tackled yet, add ngaio into all the big gaps in our current plantings, create and plant some more hare proof exclosures with vulnerable plants like cabbage trees, and add more plants into areas that now have some cover.

The Million Metres work will sit alongside other work at Baring Head, including propagation of rare plants, creation of invertebrate habitat, improving the state of the river itself, weeding, planting areas of the coast, and managing predators and browsers.

We hope you will help us get there!

OUR VISION for Wainuiomata

We have already fenced off the river edges and wetlands, and in 2018 we started our planting programme.  Since then we have put groves of plants across most of the river flats, starting the process of converting grass to forest.  Eventually, the entire valley will have a riverine forest, dominated by trees such as titoki, kahikatea and pukatea. The river will be more stable, with islands full of toetoe, beaches hosting specialist native turf plants, and happy fish and invertebrates.

Since 2018, we have involved hundreds of volunteers and many corporate groups, introducing them to a very special place. We have also provided training for people wishing to become employed in conservation work.

We are already seeing the difference of the work. The plants we have put in are, in many cases, already large and flowering, providing food for birds, lizards and insects, and seed sources for regeneration. The river is rapidly improving, with almost no bank slumping, and new islands forming and being colonised by toetoe. That’s providing our native fishes and other fauna with a better range of suitable places to live.

Over the next seven years we’d like to complete the restoration of 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 could be achieved in the rest of the valley.


The restoration of the Wainuiomata River at Baring Head has had a brilliant start and 2021 provides an opportunity to support the next stage of this great work. The area has exceptional ecological values and supports many threatened species.

We hope you will donate to the project today. Any amount will help this large-scale restoration project. 

Funds raised will go towards the purchasing and maintenance of 8000 plants and will also fund a number of planting days with Conservation Volunteers New Zealand. CVNZ will lead the teams on the ground, getting more people involved in restoring this spectacular slice of NZ.

15% of the funds raised will go to the Million Metres Streams Project. The team at Million Metres keep the website running, connect projects with funding, resources and people, and share the overall impact of the programme.

Please get in touch with the Friends of Baring Head Trust if you are interested in participating in a planting or restoration day. We’d like to provide an opportunity for people around the region to see the benefit of river restoration work and get to know their river.

Progress Photos: