What is happening in the Huritini/Halswell area?

Contractors have re-graded the banks along sections of some of the waterways to enhance drainage and flood control. Amending the bank slope also provides a better environment for planting native grasses, shrubs and trees.

These plants improve native biodiversity, help stabilise banks, shade the water to help decrease future weed growth and enhance ongoing catchment management efforts.

The long-term benefits will include a more visually appealing landscape around our waterways, increased habitat for birds, insects and fish, and better aquatic shade. All these elements help to improve the quality of water that flows through our waterways – and into Te Waihora.

What will you see when planting is due to begin?
After a planting site is selected, the area is prepared. This may include re-grading/shaping waterway banks, and weed removal (e.g. grass, gorse, willow) by an herbicide application 4-6 weeks prior to planting. Bank slopes are more likely to be spot-sprayed rather than blanket-sprayed, which means bank stability is maintained while the new native plants become established. A team of contractors will then install the new plants.

Each planting site will be actively maintained for at least 2 years. The ongoing maintenance program will include between 3-6 visits a year, and weed control may include herbicide application, brush cutting, mowing and /or hand pulling.

Some sites may look a bit untidy during this period, especially if spot-spraying occurs, however, fast-growing sedges will usually overgrow competing weedy vegetation within eighteen months.

What happens in a newly-planted area after two years?
Some species, such as Carex (sedge), toetoe and harakeke (flax) grow quickly and spread, eventually overtaking weed growth. Little further maintenance will be required at many of these sites. In some cases, depending on the site, soil and species mix, some maintenance may be required for a longer period of time.