Farmers are heading to the Taranaki Regional Council’s depots this week to collect 400,000 plants that will help protect the region’s water quality.
They’ll plant them on stream banks this winter as part of the riparian management programme established by TRC in 1993 to protect Taranaki waterways.
The programme was New Zealand’s largest environmental scheme of its kind on private land, TRC chairman David MacLeod said.
Farmers bought the plants at cost through TRC’s native plant scheme. They would need to buy millions more to complete the riparian programme across Taranaki waterways by 2020.
TRC monitoring shows about 80 per cent of waterways are fenced and 65 per cent are planted so far.
Plants can be collected from council depots at Hawera, Opunake, Pungarehu, Stratford and Lepperton until Friday.
MacLeod said Taranaki could be rightly proud of its riparian management programme, which led New Zealand in terms of its scale and voluntary farmer participation.
Among the nurseries growing plants for the TRC is Kii Tahi Nursery, owned by the Ngarauru iwi in Patea.
Nursery site manager Darren Ngarewa, who was collecting plants at Lepperton on Thursday, said the nursery grew 35,000 plants this year and he and his staff of four expected to plant about 20,000 plants on Parininihi ki Waitotara farms and on other South Taranaki farms this year.