Project Title: Let's make Kaiate Falls Swimmable Again

Funding Close Date: 25 Sep 2020

Bay of Plenty

Bay of Plenty

Metres Planted:
1510 m

NZD $52841.55

Location: Kaiate Falls

GPS Coordinates: -37.765645, 176.248477

Project Cost: NZD $52841.55

Cost per Metre: NZD $35

Metres to be planted: 1500m

Field Partner: Bay of Plenty Regional Council

Project ID: NI44

Project Description:


The legends at Speight’s are helping us look after what matters – New Zealand’s precious waterways! Speight’s are helping three massive efforts to restore our waterways this year: Otawera Stream, Cardrona River and Taramaire Stream.  Every donation to Otawera Stream will now be matched by Speight’s up to $10,000. Make your donation today!

Our Project

We really want to go for a dip at Kaiate Falls, but at the moment we can’t and that’s a bit crap! A short bush walk down to Kaiate Falls takes you past a series of pretty waterfalls before you reach the biggest waterfall with an excellent plunge pool for bombs and belly-flops. The locals used to swim here all summer long but now there are high levels of E.coli bacteria and Toi Te Ora Public Health has advised against swimming in the river.

We’ve got big plans

The ‘Let’s Make Kaiate Falls Swimmable Again’ community, the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and the Waitao Landcare Group have a goal of cleaning up the water that flows along Otawera Stream and down to Kaiate Falls so that it is safe to swim. Together, we’ll achieve this by fencing off and planting the waterways upstream from Kaiate Falls – this will keep livestock out of the water and filter runoff from farmland. We will fence off 1500 metres of stream and plant over 6,700 natives resulting in over 1.3 hectares of restoration. That’s nothing to poo-poo about!

Expert help is on hand

Luckily, superstar native plant expert Rob McGowan is a local and has been giving us a hand to identify which native plants would have been found in the area back when Johnny was a cowboy. The planting plan will ensure that this area is regenerated to establish a habitat that lots of our native biodiversity will be able to call home and we will be planting trees that will provide the native birds and the bees with some good kai.  Under Rob’s guidance, the Waitao Landcare group has been collecting seeds and raising native plants for years, and carrying out plantings alongside streams in the Waitao catchment. 

But we can’t do it without you!

We know what we’re doing – in 2019 over 50 volunteers helped to plant almost 900 plants along 400 metres of Kaiate stream, and in 2020 we’re aiming higher! With 1500 metres of stream and 6700 natives to plant, we need your help! The funds raised will go towards site preparation, purchasing the plants, getting the plants in the ground and site maintenance which will ensure the plants grow big and strong.

Please donate to our Million Metres project to help us to help the stream get back to health, and turn cow-plops into belly-flops!


Speight’s partnership with Million Metres brings to life their commitment to taking care of what matters. Over the last 10 years, Speight’s has supported environmental projects in the Otago region via the Speight’s Fund. In 2019, Speight’s and Million Metres partnered to transform this programme to deliver support to waterway restoration projects in Otago, and nationally. Speight’s supported a huge planting effort in 2019, and 2020 is shaping up to be another massive year! Million Metres and Speight’s will continue to develop this partnership overtime to grow its impact. Keep up to date on how things are progressing here.