Project Title: Protecting The Rivers of Canterbury: Stackwoods Bend, Huritini River



Metres Planted:
223 m

Volunteer Hours:

Location: Selwyn, Canterbury

Project Cost: NZD $10048.77

Cost per Metre: NZD $45

Metres to be planted: 200m

Field Partner: Environment Canterbury

Project ID: SI3

Project Description:

About us and our project

Hi! Do you care about the health of New Zealand’s rivers? So do we!

We’re members of Te Ara Kākāriki Canterbury Greenway Trust. We’ve been restoring native bush to the mid-Canterbury plains for a decade.

We love this work, and it’s sorely needed in this area. Mid-Canterbury has very few remaining native plants.

We need your help for our next project with Ladbrooks School and Enviroschools.

We’ve joined up with Million Metres to seek funding to plant 200 metres of stream bank over the next two years along the Huritini (Halswell) River, in an area known as Stackwood’s bend. This is stage one of the project, and we’ll be back in 2018 to fundraise the next 200 metres of stream planting. 

Working with the local school

We’re working with students from the local school, Ladbrooks Primary. We are also working with their Enviroschools’ co-ordinator. The students will be planting the area over the next few autumns. It’s part of our programme with Enviroschools called “Kids Discovery Plantout”.

The school has done work like this before. This was on another section of the Huritini on Leadleys road. They are ready to take on their next challenge.

The students have already been out to the planting site and worked on their vision for the planting. They’ve described how they hope to make the area look, feel, smell and sound. You can hear how important it is to them by checking out their comments in our video.

Give us a hand by funding a metre OR TWO of planting!

Million Metres is supporting us with match funding, so for every metre you buy we get two (up to $2000)!

A metre length of stream planting enables eight square metres of planting. It makes one amazing field day for one student. They learn hands-on about their natural environment. They find out how to restore native biodiversity to their area.

Restoring the river

Stackwoods Bend lies along the Huritini (Halswell River), next to Old Tai Tapu Road. Huritini is a key tributary of Te Waihora (Lake Ellesmere).

The water quality of most streams in the area is poor. This area of the Huritini is affected by increased road and home building in the area, as well as a nearby industrial zone. This is on top of agricultural run off from local lifestyle blocks. This has resulted in high levels of erosion, as well as excess nutrients, reaching the stream. This has caused all sorts of problems, including ‘dead zones’ where things get bad enough.

These streams feed into Te Waihora (Lake Ellesmere). Te Waihora is one of New Zealand’s most important wetland systems. It has National Water Conservation Order recognition for its habitat provision, wetland vegetation, and fish.

Restoring native bush

This small area of restored native forest will eventually become part of a network of ‘green dots’ across the Canterbury plains. The aim is to reverse the devastating loss of native biodiversity in this region.

This area will support the nearby remnant forest in Tai Tapu. Stackwoods Bend will become an important stepping stone for birds flying through this area. The restoration will also contribute to a cleaner river and ultimately a cleaner Te Waihora. We need many more projects like this one to reach that goal.

The remnant forest at Tai Tapu is abundant with NZ myrtle, ribbonwood, cabbage trees, passion flower, and mahoe. The remnant also has regenerating totara and matai.

Inspiring young people


The Kids Discovery Plantout works in 11 schools and one kindergarten in the Selwyn District.

We work with school students to support local restoration sites near their schools. We run field days for native planting and biodiversity activities. These include monitoring of terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates and birds. Each school works on a different project and will continue to monitor its site in years to come.

Since we started 2.5 years ago this programme has had support from Selwyn District Council, Environment Canterbury, and the Department of Conservation, World Wild Life Fund, The Rata Foundation, and Whakaora Te Waihora.