Friday April 20, 2018   Last updated 01:33AM
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Prison nursery for river restoration trees
Waiotaka River

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Prisoners will work alongside iwi and volunteers in an effort to restore the Waiotaka River, which flows into Lake Taupo.

Waikato Regional Council’s Natural Heritage Fund has given $126,750 to Project Tongariro for the three year project.

The group will work with Rongomai Marae and Tongariro Prison, with the prison producing eco-sourced trees including kahikatea, matai, totara and ribbonwood.

Currently the river margins, which are mainly on Department of Corrections land, are infested with crack willow, blackberry and other weeds.

The restoration will help improve the water quality of the Waiotaka River and Lake Taupo by creating a wide indigenous vegetation buffer, and ensure access to the river for the public.

Council finance committee chair Jane Hennebry says Project Tongariro is a large, well-supported community group with an excellent track record of managing significant natural areas in the Tongariro-Taupo region.

The committee has also approved a grant of $84,000 for the Waikato Raupatu River Trust and Nikau Whanau Trust towards the purchase of 13 hectares of the Matahuru Wetland at Lake Waikare, and $154,990 for Mahakirau Forest Estate Society Inc to help with the next four years for predator control work.

 

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