Riparian Planting

Community Wellbeing
Healthy Ecosystems
Jobs For Nature
WAI Action Groups
Wānaka Water Project
As part of the Wānaka Water Project, 24,000 native plants have been planted over five years (2018-2023) to restore riparian margins. This was led by WAI Wānaka in partnership with Te Kākano Aotearoa Trust, landowners, QLDC, ORC and other stakeholders.

Riparian zones are the land beside a creek, river, lake or wetland. Planting native grasses, sedges, flaxes, shrubs and/or trees in riparian zones can improve the health of waterways by filtering nutrients before they reach the water, including nitrogen, phosphorus and bacteria such as E. coli.

Other benefits of riparian planting:

  • Enhanced ecosystem health (including habitat for insects) and increased biodiversity
  • Reduced sediment runoff and increased bank stabilisation
  • Provides shade that decreases waterway temperatures (this reduces weed growth and provides stable temperatures for aquatic organisms)
  • Potential recreational opportunities such as fishing and swimming spots
Riparian planting at the Glendhu wetland Wanaka
Group of volunteers at the Glendhu wetland after a planting and plant maintenance session. Photo credit: Dion Andrews



plants planted over 5 years

47,119 m2

of riparian zones planted

24 sites

on 19 properties

Volunteer or donate to help with riparian planting Wanaka.

Did you know?

Riparian came to English from the same source that gave us “river”— the Latin riparius, a noun deriving from ripa, meaning “bank” or “shore.” First appearing in English in the 19th century, “riparian” refers to things that exist alongside a river (such as riparian wetlands, habitats, trees, etc.)
Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary.


Riparian planting has also been undertaken on farmland by the team from WAI Wānaka’s Jobs for Nature programme. This video celebrates the combined native planting efforts across the Upper Clutha Catchment. Check it out!


HELP US PLANT TREES. Find out more about current riparian planting projects and how to volunteer your time for a planting session or help look after the next lot of native plants at the nursery with Te Kākano.

DONATE MONEY FOR TREESA huge thank you to you – our community of funders who have already helped put thousands of plants in the ground along riparian margins in the Upper Clutha catchment – ka pai! You are part of a better future for our waterways.

Back to the Wānaka Water Project.