Project Title: Te Mangatupae Stream @ Whangawehi

Funding Close Date: 10 Jul 2020

Hawke’s Bay

Hawke’s Bay

Metres Planted:
542 m

NZD $10845.4

Location: Mahia East Coast Road, Mahia

GPS Coordinates: -39.124005, 177.928811

Project Cost: NZD $10845.40

Cost per Metre: NZD $20

Metres to be planted: 3000m

Field Partner: Hawkes Bay Regional Council

Project ID: NI33

Project Description:

Who We Are

We are a group of Kiwis from local farms, marae, forestry companies, schools, and agencies who’ve come together to protect the sacred Whangawehi River. We believe we can only take care of the awa by working together. So, in 2012 we formed The Whangawehi Catchment Management Group (WCMG) and we’ve been replanting the river and its tributaries ever since. 

The Whangawehi river is tucked away in a remote corner of Aotearoa New Zealand on the Mahia Peninsula, but its successful restoration story has been far reaching.

We’re working to take care of this incredible area by restoring the streams that flow into the Whangawehi river. We have already made great progress.

In 2015 we raised $83,000 with Million Metres across two sections of restoration – the  Pongaroa Station @ Whangawehi project and the Taharoa/Grandy Lake Forest @ Whangawehi project. This helped us plant 22,000 native plants along 4000 metres of stream in the Whangawehi catchment. We are hugely thankful to everyone who donated! These projects have been a great success. 

Now we’re back with our third Million Metres fundraiser to carry out further restoration along another stretch of waterway in the Whangawehi catchment.

An important next step will be to plant the banks of the Mangatupae stream where it flows through Pat and Sue O’Brien’s farm. They say:

 “We have a strong connection to this land and feel privileged to be able to play our part in caring for it. Our ancestors provide a steadfast anchor to the past. The present enables us to plan and get done what is important now: fencing, retiring marginal land, planting trees and eradicating pests so that we can improve water quality and prevent erosion. Looking to the future, we can visualise a very different landscape. One of balance where human activity respects, values, and supports flourishing ecosystems and biodiversity.”

We’re also working on a public walkway so that everyone can benefit from and enjoy this area and the restoration work that has been done. 

What we’ve achieved So Far

Over the last 6 years many people have come together to care for the river. We’re proud of what’s been done so far:

  • Fencing – the river is now nearly completely fenced off!
  • Retiring land – 65 hectares of land bordering the river has been retired from farm use.
  • Trees – we’ve planted 165,000 trees and they’re thriving.

This work is having amazing results:

  • Native Fish – The river is full of fish! Whitebait and long fin eel populations are exploding.
  • Native plants – In the areas of retired land we’re seeing new native plants taking hold.

This work was able to be achieved with the support of some amazing funding partners. Our key funders have been: Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Ministry for the Environment, Department of Conservation, Nga Whenua Rahui and our amazing donors on Million Metres! We thank all the funders so far – who together have made this large scale impact possible.

In 2017 WCMG was awarded the government’s most prestigious environmental award – the Supreme Green Ribbon Award for its contribution to the environment. In 2018 we were awarded the International Asia Pacific River Award in the Pacific category. These awards acknowledge that we are on the right track. We’re keen to share our knowledge. And we want to keep going!

The Project plan

The next section of restoration will help to continue to improve water quality, and support flourishing ecosystems and biodiversity.

Te Mangatupae stream is a tributary of our sacred Whangawehi River. The land along its banks needs to be retired from farm use and replanted. We will plant 3000 metres of waterway with 38,000 trees. This is a challenging steep and exposed environment, but we have already successfully demonstrated what can be done when a community comes together to protect our waterways, so we are confident we can restore this area with thriving native plants.

We want Te Mangatupae stream to be an example to the rest of the country of what farmers can do in a challenging environment. 

The area will also be covenanted under a Nga Whenua Rahui covenant, which means that long term funding assistance will be offered for plant and fence maintenance as well as pest control. It also means this area will be protected in perpetuity.

How you can help

This project is going to cost $156,500. We have a number of partners on board already to help cover these costs. Hawke’s Bay Regional Council are funding $90,000 towards the total. We are seeking several additional partners to help with funding, and we are now fundraising $60,000 with Million Metres to contribute to the total cost of the project too!

This is where you can help! Please donate today towards our project to bring life back to the Whangawehi river and it tributaries.  

Your donation will go towards the cost of weeding and preparing the area for planting, the plants, and taking care of the plants for 3 years once they’re in the ground. 

Thank you so much! Any contribution – from the largest to the smallest – makes a difference.

Progress Photos: