The Taranaki Regional Council’s Riparian Management Programme is the largest enhancement planting scheme on private land in New Zealand.
It is transforming Taranaki and protecting the vital freshwater resource that nourishes the region physically, spiritually and economically.
The Council is working with hundreds of dairy farmers to plant millions of native plants and fence thousands of kilometres of stream banks to protect and enhance the quality of waterways on the Mt Taranaki ring plain, through which around 300 rivers and streams make their way from mountain to sea. Much of the original riparian cover was cleared during development for pastoral farming, exposing waterways to the effects of land use.
The Riparian Management Programme is now restoring vegetation cover. Council officers work one-on-one with farmers to identify fencing and planting requirements and the cost of the work, and draw up an implementation plan. The Council tenders annually for the bulk supply of suitable native riparian plants, and passes them on to farmers at cost. Ongoing one-to-one advice and support are also provided.
The scheme has been a voluntary programme since its inception in the 1990s. Its success is largely due to the commitment and efforts of individual dairy farmers and their industry.
Taranaki Regional Council is a finalist in the 2015 NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards in the Restorative Impact category.