The Wopwops Wetland Park in Lower Norsewood was the project of choice for the Kuikui Charitable Trust and local iwi Ngāti Kahungunu ki Tamaki nui-a-rua who were successful recipients of a 2016 Manawatu River Leaders’ Accord Community Grant. Protection, revitalisation, education and engagement were the key focus for the wetland improvements, which received $1500 towards the costs of fencing a natural spring and native riparian plants. By cleaning up and enhancing the wetland area the habitat of native species, including the long-fin eel (tuna) whose numbers are declining, has become an improved environment. The protected habitat is vital for tuna as they live for about 100 years in the same place, before migrating to the Pacific Ridge to breed and die. The wetland is open for the general public where they can feed the tuna, while learning about the site’s historical significance and the value of protecting and conserving the wetlands for future generations. Check out their Facebook page for more information.


The Mangaone West Catchment Care Group are one of the larger scale projects to receive Manawatū River Leaders’ Accord Community Grants funding, with work to be carried out over a number of years. So far the Catchment Care Group have received three grants between 2016 and 2018, to plant over 20,000 plants along the Mangaone Stream. It is a truly collaborative effort with the wider community, land owners and Horizons Regional Council all actively involved. Local community members prepared the site and were involved with the planting and ongoing maintenance of the plants on numerous private properties around the stream; Mount Biggs School also grows native plants from seedlings in their propagation unit to supply to the landowners; and Horizons provided support and technical advice to ensure the long-term sustainability of the plantings. The Accord community grants programme also provides an opportunity for groups to tap into the support and technical advice available at Horizons Regional Council.


The Mangaone Stream was the project of choice for the Schnell-Gemmell Farm,the successful recipients of a 2016 Manawatū River Leaders’ Accord Grant. They focused on the clean-up and enhancement of a section of the Mangaone Stream which runs through the family farm. Extensive work was put into the clearing up of the overgrown blackberry which surrounded the stream before the planting of the native riparian could commence. Twelve Hiwinui School students and principal Brenda Leigh participated in the planting of the trees, along with four members of the home schooled family who neighbour the farm. They worked fast and within 45 minutes 288 plants were planted along a section of the Mangaone Stream on the Schnell-Gemmell Farm. The good work will continue as Amy and Greg Gemmell, and Margaret and Brian Schnell, intend to continue planting along the stream. They are currently staking trees and continually maintain the area by keeping the weeds and blackberry down. Information and photos of their planting day have been shared through their Facebook page Robotic Dairy Farm, Manawatū.