Project Title: Love Wairarapa Stream

Funding Close Date: 7 Feb 2020



Metres Planted:
325 m

NZD $26661.7

Location: Jellie Park , Christchurch

GPS Coordinates: -43.507675, 172.582294

Project Cost: NZD $26661.70

Cost per Metre: NZD $82

Metres to be planted: 460m

Field Partner: Environment Canterbury

Project ID: SI9

Project Description:

Working together

The project to restore Wairarapa Stream is bringing many groups of people together to make a difference to one of Ōtautahi/Christchurch’s local waterways. Our vision at Conservation Volunteers is inspiring change by connecting people with nature; our Whakatauki – He rau ringa e oti ai- by many hands the task is completed. We are working with Christchurch City Council, Working Waters Trust, Burnside Primary, St Patrick’s School, Cobham Intermediate and CCEL, an English language school.

Restoring an Urban stream

They’re right on our doorstep, but urban streams are all too often a forgotten part of our cities. Unfortunately, Wairarapa Stream is no different. It suffers from ecological degradation and is not currently a good habitat for native species or a place that people can enjoy.

We’re determined to change this. We want to see the stream once again supporting a rich diversity of life, providing an abundant food resource and a place of rest and recreation for the community.

We are really excited to be able to contribute to the restoration of this stream. We want to showcase best practice in stream side restoration planting to show how it can make a real difference to stream health.

The story of the stream

The Wairarapa Stream is a tributary of the Avon/Ōtakaro River. The area through which it flows was once a rich mosaic of forest and wetlands. Following European settlement, it was converted to farmland. In 1917 the land was purchased by James Jellie who used it for commercial growing of crops and poultry farming over a 20 year period. It was then leased to dairy farmers. In the 1950s Jellie gifted the land to the people of Christchurch. Today, Wairarapa Stream is located within Jellie Park, a very popular recreational area in the suburb of Burnside. Jellie Park has a large aquatic park, children’s playground and frisbee golf course.

Restoration so far

We want to help restore Wairapapa Stream back to a healthy waterway. One in which freshwater species thrive and that people can fully enjoy.

Site restoration work at Wairarapa Stream started on February 21st this year. Students from a local English language school, CCEL, removed willow saplings and other invasive pest plants. We’ve had some incredible support from Christchurch City Council who have already put resources towards site preparation and will be putting more time and money towards this project as it continues. 

The next stage of the restoration involves tackling well established invasive pest plants such as old man’s beard, willow, blackberry and convolvulus- it’s a really big project! We are already working with staff at Christchurch City Council and CVNZ volunteers to start tackling this job.  

Once the site has been prepared, four local schools and some businesses will be planting the area with eco-sourced trees that belong along the banks of the stream.

We’re so excited to have the involvement of the Working Waters Trust – who will help connect and inspire us with this restoration. They are coming on-site during the planting days to teach the children and the business teams about stream life. Everyone who helps with the planting will leave not only knowing that they’ve helped restore this wonderful stream, they’ll also gain a heap of ecological knowledge and a deeper understanding of the improvements they make.

We need your help

We have already received some amazing support from Christchurch City Council to help remove the weeds and get a great head start. We need to raise $37720 to cover the costs of plants, site preparation, and getting the plants and trees in the ground this winter! This fundraiser will also cover 3 years of important ongoing weed removal. Can you help us by donating to our crowd-funding page so that we can restore this wonderful community treasure back to a place that we can all love?

Any donation is greatly appreciated. By many hands the task is completed – can you give us a hand and donate to this project?