2022 AWARD FINALIST
Sponsored by Department of Conservation
At 63 kilometres long and with a catchment of 4,100 hectares, the Papakura Stream is a significant freshwater system. This area was once covered in indigenous forest, including kahikatea swamp, but most of this habitat has been lost.
Tree cover is now extremely low in this catchment and the upper rural Papakura Stream now has one of the highest E.coli levels in Auckland and ranks among the worst 25% of rural sites in Aotearoa New Zealand.
The Papakura Stream Restoration Project aims to improve the health of the stream and the wider catchment. The stream is being restored through fencing, removing of invasive weeds, riparian planting, education to landowners and schools, and the recruitment of thousands of volunteers.
The project was initiated in 2021. To date, 53,000 trees have been planted on nine project sites, 350 metres of stream fenced and huge sections of stream cleared of invasive weeds. The project is working with Franklin, Papakura and Manurewa local boards, nine farmers, landowners and has partnered with Schools for Survival to plant thousands more trees.