Riparian Planting

As part of the Wānaka Water Project, 24,000 native plants are being planted over five years (2018-2022) to restore riparian margins. This is 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
Group of volunteers at the Glendhu wetland after a planting and plant maintenance session. Photo credit: Dion Andrews

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.


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.

We are currently raising funds for the ‘Love our Alpine Lakes‘ project. A massive thank you goes to everyone who has made a donation so far and to Speight’s and Fonterra for their match funding and The Body Shop for their bonus donation.

Back to the Wānaka Water Project.