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Riparian Planting

On this page you can find out about riparian planting.

Enhancing and protecting our valuable water resource is important for New Zealand. It benefits everyone who uses water for drinking, as well as economic, recreational, aesthetic, ecological and cultural activities. Creating riparian zones, where trees are planted beside waterways and areas are fenced, is a fundamental way to restore the health of our water.

What are riparian zones?

Riparian zones are the strips of land beside drains, streams, rivers and lakes. They include areas on-farm where the soils are wettest, such as wetlands, springs or seeps and gullies.

When fenced and planted, riparian zones maintain and improve water quality on your farm. They function like a sieve, helping to filter out and reduce sediment and nutrients into waterways.

What are the benefits of riparian planting?

• Fencing and planting add capital value to your farm
• Mature riparian plantings provide shade to cut weed growth and reduce water temperature
• Well-managed riparian zones prevent stock from getting stuck or drowning in waterways, providing more shade and make it easier to manage stock
• Less sediment means less cost for drain clearing and less risk of flooding
• Reducing nutrients into waterways decreases weed growth and improves water quality and biodiversity – better swimming and fishing
• Riparian zones stabilise land, limiting loss through erosion

A practical guide

This comprehensive guide covers the steps for planting and maintenance of riparian zones on your farm, including technical specifications for how to achieve good shading.

Riparian Planting in Hawke’s Bay

Talk to staff about riparian planting

Call one of our staff for advice and assistance.

Northern Office - Wairoa
46 Freyberg Street,  Wairoa 4108 +64 6 838 8527

Central Office – Napier
159 Dalton Street, Napier 4110 +64 6 835 9200

Southern Office – Waipawa
26 Ruataniwha Street, Waipawa 4210 +64 0800 108 838

Planting Guide:

A detailed riparian planting guide is available online here or by contacting a the Regional Council land management advisor. It contains advice about siting, planting and management of plants for local conditions.

Plant Storage:

Ensure the planting site is fenced and prepared prior to collection. If you are not planting straight away, make sure you have a suitable place to store them out of direct sunlight and water plants regularly.


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While every endeavour has been taken by the Hawke's Bay Regional Council to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, Hawke's Bay Regional Council shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith. Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant government agencies. Hawke's Bay Regional Council cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the information and material on this site, including data, pages, documents, online graphics and images are protected by copyright, unless specifically notified to the contrary. Externally sourced information or material is copyright to the respective provider.

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